Flip the Switch
I have come to a conclusion, in my continued quest for self-knowledge.
I don’t do quick transitions.
I’m not referring to the transitions in my prose. Actually, I’m pretty proud of those. I try to keep my chapter and scene transitions snappy and full of momentum. I just wish ‘snappy’ and ‘full of momentum’ were words I could apply to myself.
I once had a roommate who was like a light switch. When she went to bed, she fell asleep. When her alarm went off in the morning, she was awake. End of story. Me? It takes me a half-hour of thinking/processing/obsessing about anything and nothing before I can ever drift off to sleep, and in the morning – oh man. Multiple swats at the snooze button and some serious caffeine intake are required before I can be called remotely ‘awake.’
I’m similarly sluggish when it comes to transitioning from “doing anything else” to “writing.” I have to sit in front of my computer for an hour sometimes, just puttering and waiting for my brain to shift into writing gear. Or maybe it’s more like I’m waiting to get out of my head and into the character’s. It takes forever. And once I’m in the zone … if you interrupt me when I’m writing, don’t expect a relevant or articulate response. I’m not home.
And now, I’ve aggravated the problem by alternating back and forth between writing new stuff (Goddess o’Beauty) and revising old stuff (Goddess o’da Hunt), and coaxing my brain to transition back and forth from one set of characters to the other is not a matter of hours, it’s becoming days.
I need advice. Has anyone out there ever taken method acting? Or played competitive sports? Or done Lamaze? What are those little tricks they give you for focusing quickly, and making that transition into ‘the zone?” How do you slip into Writer-World?