The creative process has no time clock.
You wake up and roll over to find your spouse’s side of the bed empty and cold. It’s freaking three a.m., for crying out loud, and you haven’t had a baby to get up for in fifteen years. What the heck? You pad out to the hall, rumpled and yawning, only to see the light on in the study down the hall. Online affair? Insomnia powered by a guilty conscience? Can’t stand sleeping with you anymore? No. Your writer has experienced a severe attack of creative spark. Oh, dear God, if I don’t get up and hammer this out now, it’ll all vanish forever! Not that this is generally the case. Given enough concentration and coffee, the inspiration would return in the morning, but the frantic nature of that call, more powerful than the call of nature, more tyrannical than a colicky baby, has hurled your writer from sleep and will not recede until answered. Be patient and calm your suspicions. Go back to bed. Your writer will join you soon.
Your writer is not turning into Jack Torrance from ‘The Shining’
You’re passing by the study on a Saturday afternoon. You see your writer at the computer and recall a question. “Honey, have you seen the flashlight?” Your writer’s head whips around, lip curled in a dark, threatening snarl, eyes glazed and wild. “No.” The monosyllabic snarl is flung at you before your writer returns to the screen with a heavy sigh. This is not psychosis. This is symptomatic of a writer interrupted mid-thought. A vital thought, it’s always the most crucial thought of the day which is cut off by some distraction. Never fear. This is simple frustration and, depending on whether your writer has been suffering from a block, may be followed by tears. Getting huffy and defensive will not prove productive. Depending on your writer’s temperament, a hug may be in order, or a cup of tea, or, even better, those loving words every writer wants to hear, “Sweetie, I’m taking the kids out shopping—be back in a few hours!”
Feeling neglected? Stroke the brain.
Put away the fancy under-things, the toys, and the candles. When you feel your writer no longer sees you, remember that it’s temporary. Your writer walks a precarious mental tightrope between worlds, the fictional often more present than the real. The best thing to do? Get involved in that other world. Rather than wrinkle your nose and say ‘do you have to write that kind of stuff?’, (whatever the ‘stuff’ may be) read some. You love this person. It can’t be that bad. Oh, look, it’s really kind of interesting. Hmm…what’s on this next page? There is nothing more stimulating for a writer than someone enjoying their work. Start asking when you can read that next chapter and you just watch how fast you get jumped that evening. You’ll think you have a cat-person on your hands. There may even be some purring.
So, thank you, to all of you who put up with us, encourage us, and tell us it’s time for bed. We love you, we really do. We just need a little extra patience sometimes and the knowledge that no matter what the critics say, we have one fan in our corner.
Angel Martinez – Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind
A Red Rose Publishing Best Seller