Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Writer's Diary, #3. Buckling down.

This is the end of my first week intensely writing and I'm pleased to report a resounding success.  No writer's block, no distractions, no going off on tangents, no fact checking that can't be done remotely. I polished off drafts of three chapters (of a 6-7 chapter book) and posted them on GoogleDocs for my co-authors' review. This is unbelievably satisfying because this project has been troubling me for some time.

Secrets to success? A combination of the best of circumstances for a writer. Much of it is due to close daily communication with my co-author Barb,  the perfect working environment here in my cousin's house in southern Arizona, and the hot dry climate which makes me feel physically good and therefore gets me into a good mood. The family of javelinas in the photo above live in the neighborhood and along with the other wildlife, keep me company.

Here's my work routine, dictated by the climate but it works well for writing. Up a little after dawn, go walking about 6-7 a.m. before the heat builds up. Back home, turn on the computer and do the heavy intellectual work in the morning, fortified by a full pot of Peets coffee, brewed strong. Take it  easy in the afternoon, with maybe even a nap in the heat of the day. Swimming* in the late afternoon, then back home for the part I love about writing. This is when I print out the day's work, take a cold drink out on the deck, and review, revise, think about possibilities for presenting material, and think expansively about my project. Then a quick stint on the computer to revise, and to bed fairly early to do it all over again the next day.

With so much success I decided to take a break for the week-end and do a little exploring. I drove south, and I stopped in the town Tubac, Arizona. Never heard of it before -- it's about 20 miles from the Mexican border. It claims to be the first Spanish settlement (though I thought Taos was settled 100 years earlier), and now is a thriving arts community.When I arrived at the end of the day, both the historic museum, and the galleries were closed, but it offered all kinds of possibilities for a future trip. Below are some photos from the town.

* I should mention that I always consider swimming work time (and, incidentally, I wish my employer would pay me for swim time). Swimming gives me clarity, as this is when I can see problems and solutions most clearly.


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