Author Jen de Luca stops by to give us a sneak peek into her day! Jen is featured in the Rough Edges Box Set.
Like most writers, I have favorite writing spots where I feel the most creative. I have an office space set up in my house with a great ergonomic chair and a desktop computer with a large monitor so my terrible eyes can see what I’m writing. My secondary place to write is my local coffeehouse, where I can get a good latte, get lost in the sounds of chatter (or the occasional dude in the corner playing guitar) around me and dive into my words. I had trouble connecting to my writing if I wasn’t “settled” somewhere, so a lot of times, my writing came too slowly.
With “Hunted and Haunted,” I didn’t have the luxury of settling in to my favorite spaces to get the work done. I was up against the submission deadline, with an idea that had sprung pretty much fully-formed, and I had to get it down fast. My last day of writing looked like this:
6:30 a.m. – Out of bed with a cup of coffee, settle down in front of my desktop computer and pound out a few words before running to work.
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Slide trusty legal pad under real work on my desk. Scribble down snippets of dialogue as they roll around in my head. Realize suddenly that the story started in the wrong place. Try not to cry at my desk.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Chicken Caesar wrap at a local lunch spot. Pull up story on my laptop. Realize the restaurant doesn’t have wifi so can’t access latest version from the cloud. Consider crying again. Instead push ahead with where I left off, writing in longhand on the legal pad.
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Back in the office. More surreptitious scribbling when I’m not actually getting real work done.
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Real life things. Walk the dog. Dinner. Not writing.
7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Husband (a photographer) wants to go downtown to photograph the sunset. Yessssss. Take laptop to downtown café. Latte and apple crumble. Fix beginning, that did indeed start in the wrong place. Get grumpy when husband shows up – is the sun down already??
10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. – Back home. Let’s get this done. Don’t move from the computer for 4 hours. Finish story. Have no idea if it’s any good because can no longer read English. Email it to writing buddy to see if it’s terrible. Stumble off to bed on stiff, tingly legs that haven’t moved for far too long. (Y’all, don’t do this!)
What did I learn from writing this story? Besides the importance of taking breaks to stand up and walk around every so often? I learned that, while having a dedicated writing space is nice, I don’t have to be tied to it. Or to my coffeehouse. Writing can happen with or without my laptop. It can be scribbled down on a legal pad on my lunch break.
Just try not to cry over your words in public.