I did this thing on Friday. Something I've never done as a writer. I took a pen and legal pad into a nice restaurant, sat alone at the bar, and made notes about a book I'm writing. I must have looked like a food critique, jotting little nitpicks about the consistency of the course-ground Dijon mustard.
Look, writing in public isn't really for me. Unless it's a coffee shop. For whatever reason, be it the smell of ground beans, the whir of the thing that does whatever that makes the slurping noise and the steaming of the milk, which results in my Big Girly Coffee - it all sort of fits together into this haven for writing creativity.
But something happened Friday. I had been blocked on this scene in my sequel. A frustrating, evil mix of plot, device, and character that I just couldn't fit together to carry the story forward, and all I wanted to do was escape. Little editorial fixes for another book were calling out my name, begging me to hop manuscripts. Basically, writing had become hard.
And then, a revelation.
When writer's block breaks, you can grab any number of cliched descriptions to explain what happens in your head. Flood gates, geyser, volcano...blah, blah, blah. Basically, you have lot of new ideas all at the same time.
That release causes a bit of a panic and you think if you can't grab all those ideas bouncing around your head that somehow, they'll bounce right out of your ear or something. The trick is writing down as much as you can, and hope for the best.
So there I was, me in a restaurant, sitting at a bar alone, scribbling in a notebook. A bit sad, really. Though, the wait staff seemed to really be on their A Game, if not a bit nervous about my opinion of the Boudin.
Figure I got, like, seventy-five percent of those ideas before they either bounced out of my ear, or were drowned in Old Fashions.