Writing Days

Jenn came down from Indianapolis yesterday for one of our writing days.

She arrived around 11 am and we wrote until 445 (with a short break for lunch at a bistro down the street), followed by some reading and some chit-chat. My writing time with her, like it is with John, are quite precious to me. I look forward to those times because while writing is a solitary endeavor (we sit across the table from each other and write without much talking), it’s — for me — done and shared in the company of writers.

There are few people I share my work with on that kind of personal level (although I do have my draft work floating around in various states). And those who I do share with are people whose work I need to be around.

I can honestly say that one of the reasons that I took the job in Muncie was to be closer to Jenn, which will increase our frequency of working days.

The day got even better when my friend Amy swung by. We took a long walk down by the river (she’d been chasing her kid throughout the day, coincidentally in Indianapolis) to unwind and then — and I don’t know why she enjoys these things — she got a reading from So Far, Appalachia and The Cult of Me, two books that couldn’t be more different if I tried.

Amy is definitely one of those people who, while not a writer herself (she’s a teacher), I love to read my work to. It’s probably instructive for me (if I was a better learner) because she’s a safe listener. I know she’s in my corner and, while more than happy to tell me what she think I’ve done wrong, let’s me hear my work so that I can begin the rewriting process in my head.

Which is what I do.

I’ve had every intention of writing on the books today but I haven’t been able to get myself motivated. I’ve wandered around, moved piles of things from there to here and back to there again. I’ve watching silly television. I’ve stared. I’ve fallen asleep in my chair.

Writing is, like John told me, dark magic. I have no idea why yesterday was an explosion of writing — more than 5,000 words — and today is a barren wasteland of emptiness.

I know part of it is being back in solitary confinement. The idea of being around anyone is unbearable right now. It’s like a drug in that way. I spent yesterday on a high, with a small group of people. One by one, they peeled off and went home. And the thought of rebuilding a social circle while coming down from the high is bleak.

Which I don’t mean in the negative sense. It’s not at all. It’s the absence of negative. Or positive. Or anything. It’s empty. Without anything.

So I wander, move things, watch things, stare at thingsĀ  and sleep.

Tomorrow I’ll be recharged (just in time for a wonderful, blood-drawing doctor’s experience) and ready to get back to it. Ready to plan my next Writing Day. In Muncie. With Jenn.

Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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