Here’s what happens when I’m really in a groove with writing: I see everything in a split-screen. Like, I’ll be washing dishes and listening to my kids play Naked Zoo Animals on one side of my brain, but on the other side, just as vivid, I’m keeping an eye on the imaginary people from the story.
It’s not like that all the time, though. Mostly, it’s one or the other. I’m either reading Aladdin in the carpool line with my 3 year old or I’m curled up with my laptop in that bizarre out-of-body world of fiction (writing a book is a lot like reading a book–the way it just takes you somewhere else).
But those split-screen moments are fantastic, and, at the same time, profoundly uncomfortable–in that pregnant way that being right on the verge of something can be. Kind of like the way that dating is so awful and so delicious at the same time. What you’re searching for isn’t there yet, but everything has potential.
I went for about ten days straight like that this month. Ten in a row. But then my real life needed my full attention for a while. So the story shut itself down–really without my permission. But it’s okay. I keep the pages in my purse, just in case I get a chance to read them.