Archive for the 'Writing' Category

The Path to Publication

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Beginning-of-summer draft

Beginning-of-summer draft

And so it begins. Or rather, has begun. I could throw a lot of words at this, but it’s better to simplify, I think.

November 2002, while pregnant with first kid, participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote 50K young adult novel draft about a teen girl with synesthesia. This draft had no plot and no conflict. Sometime after that took 2 novel writing courses at the Loft, found a critique group, and was told it was ready to send out.

I sent it out to 2 editors, plus used it to apply to several writing contests.

*crickets chirping*

I inferred that it actually wasn’t ready to send out.

Around then I had a second child followed by an extendo-dance-mix version of post-partum depression. Things got really jumbled for a while. I started another non-fiction-y memoir thing, I participated in another NaNoWriMo with what seemed like the sequel to the first book. I put both the YA and non-fictiony thing down when Guppy was 1.5 because it was just too much, already.

When he started kindergarten I picked up the YA book again and realized that the first NaNoWriMo combined with the second, the supposed sequel, could actually be one book with a plot and conflict. I took 2 years to merge the two ideas and write my way to an ending I liked.

I took one more year to get a 120,000K word sloppy messy draft to make the beginning and middle match the ending.

I took a summer to edit the 120K behemoth (see photo above. I had it printed out to read and edit in hard copy) down to a svelte 72K word less sucky draft, had 3 beta readers read it to assure me it didn’t suck and was really truly close to sendable.

I made some MORE changes based on their feedback (honestly, I can’t count the drafts) and now it’s at 73K words.

The next step now that I’ve written the best manuscript I am capable of writing is to seek an agent. Back in the day, Young Adult authors could often skip the agent step. Not very often, now.

The order of operations is:

1. Get an agent who then 2. Tries to sell your book.

Last month, I pitched an agent at a conference. She asked for the first 50 pages which I sent, and I haven’t heard from her, but she notes on her site that she takes up to six weeks to read partials, so we’re still in that window.

Last Friday I sent my first cold query to an agent. Yesterday I sent my second.

Every single step of the this new venture makes me feel slow and slightly nauseated. I can’t figure out how to get formatted text into email (apparently, I need Word, which my husband is philosophically and morally opposed to), and was wrestling with the Query Tracker website this morning.

According to all available info, I have years ahead of me of rejection, and am perfectly likely to have this book (on which I’ve worked for nearly 12 years, gah) be rejected and either self published (which is a fine option, though very work intensive) or put away so I can work on the next thing.

As with many moments, I have to remind myself there are really only 2 choices: give up, or keep trying. So for now, I’m going with trying. In spite of the stupid feeling and nausea.

Belated Blog-a-versary

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

I forgot to mark my blog-a-versary this year.

In June is was twelve (12!) years since I started writing at Blogspot with Girl Detective, continued with Mama Duck, then merged and came here.

G. Grod and I toss around ideas about making a new site under my real name, of which the Girl Detective blog would be a part, but so far, I’m still here blogging about mostly books, with movies, motherhood, food, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Glad you’re still along for the ride.

Any thoughts, encouragement, discouragement, on the new-blog/real-name idea would be most welcome.

And Now for Something Completely Different: Fiction

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

This is an excerpt from a piece of fiction I’m working on. The Replacements are playing Midway Stadium in St. Paul this Saturday, and everyone around here is blah, blah, blah, Replacements, so I’m risking posting something I’m not sure is good or not because the timing feels right.

Name That Tune

I think I’ve had sex to this song, Nicole thought, then turned up the volume in the car. It was an old memory, she thought, at least fifteen years ago. Who had it been?

Mary Lucia’s voice followed. She never talked over a song, beginning or end, one of the reasons Nicole liked listening to her. “That was ‘I Will Dare,’ local music from the Replacements, off the album Let It Be from 1987.”

The details emerged from the haze of memory. Not fifteen years–more like twenty. It was Julian, saying the Replacements were a great band to have sex to.

He used to say those kind of things when they’d go out drinking after work. Then, she thought it was because they were buddies, and she hoped he was flirting. He asked what music she liked, then mocked her answers as songs about sex, like Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘Relax’ and INXS’ ‘The One Thing,’ rather than songs that were good to have sex to.

Nicole wilted as his criticism. She’d never heard of the Replacements. They must be on WHFS, the station Julian and his friends listened to, not the classic rock she favored at the time.

Then she rallied, and stood her ground. It wasn’t because the songs were about sex, she said, but that they had strong base lines. She liked music with a back beat.

Julian admitted, somewhat grudgingly, that the Replacements had a good bass line, too. He continued to bring up sex, like how he always slept with girls at their places, so he could be the one to leave. He asked her if she knew what ‘coyote ugly’ meant.

Of course she knew. She’d been friends with guys for years, and knew some of their secrets.

It took a long time to realize Julian was neither being her friend nor flirting with her. He was taunting her. He knew she liked him, knew she wanted to sleep with him. So he went out drinking with her and talked about sex until she felt ready to rip off her clothes. She probably knew Julian wasn’t to be trusted, though, because she never did. Rip off her clothes, that is.

Until that one night. When she finally heard the Replacements.

Attention, reader Kitty

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Dear reader Kitty, who lurks, and is perhaps the first fan of my writing:

I keep getting spam from HostGator. Isn’t the the company someone you know works for? While I adore that someone, I do not adore the spam.

If so, can you find a way to get this site off the spam list? Spam makes me feel bad about the blog, which makes me blog less so I get less spam. But I want to blog more!

Any help with this, from any readers, would be greatly appreciated.

Love,

GD aka KB

“Blessed are the Dead” by Kristi Belcamino

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

hiresbadcover

I haven’t read this yet because it was just released this morning, but my friend and fellow writer Kristi Belcamino’s first book, Blessed Are the Dead, is released! Go, buy, read, and then we can chat about it. You know how I love to chat about books.

“Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life” by Dani Shapiro

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

stillwriting

I should not have bought this book, and I did not want to like it. My roof is leaking, my car is groaning, and I do not have money to spend on anything not necessary.

Please, don’t protest that books are always necessary. Books in general, yes, are necessary. Buying books is not. That’s what libraries are for. Books, specifically—especially—ones that are hardcover and full price and on a topic on which I have several unread books at home? This book was not necessary.

But I bought it anyway.

One of my possible epitaphs is “Wasn’t sure it was a good idea, but did it anyway.” That, and “Mistakes were made.” Which is pretty much the same thing.

So why did I buy Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro? Out of superstition, and by promising myself I could return it if (when) I didn’t like it. The superstition is because Shapiro is one of the literary mentors in a program I I recently applied to. Or, more accurately, I applied to again. It’s an annual writing competition, and by my conservative estimate, which I could spelunk in my files to verify, though I WILL NOT, I have applied to this program five times before. Maybe more. But that’s even more depressing, so I WILL NOT look it up. (Now. Maybe later.) Every time I’ve applied, I’ve felt confident about my application. And every time, I didn’t even make the first cut, much less the finals. Groucho Marx might say I should stop trying to get into a club that clearly doesn’t want me as a member.

It’s part of the particular madness of writers that we persist in trying, even in the face of continual silence and rejection. There are so many stories out there about writer X who papered his whole house with rejections until the critical acceptance, or writer Y whose manuscript was pulled out of the slush pile. Hope springs eternal. Yet, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the strong possibility I am not being picked for this program, or published, or whatever, because my writing is just not that good. Not bad, necessarily. But just not THAT good.

This may be true, and it is not a comfortable thing to sit with. If I am able to stop wallowing for a moment, though, the next question arises: so, what? Two possibilities present themselves: quit, or keep trying to be a better writer. Thus far, I’ve always chosen the latter.

Back to why I bought this book. Because I was in a bookstore, because I thought I would read it, not like it, return it, and thus give myself a nice cushion for the disappointing news I’ve heard five times before, that I’m not a good fit, but good luck and keep trying! I was pre-planning my sour grapes.

A strange thing happened when I read Shapio’s book, though. I could not resist it. Her quiet, steady, honest advice on how to write and keep writing, wormed its way into my brain, my heart, my self. I laughed. I recognized the desire, so often postponed, to get to the business of writing. I recognized myself as a writer.

We’re outcasts and loners, more comfortable being out of step than part of a group. If pressed, you’d find that most of us had not pledged sororities or fraternities in college. We don’t tend to be members of clubs…This prickly overly sensitive, socially awkward group of people is my tribe. If you’re a writer, they’re yours as well. (185-6)

I will probably not be accepted into the program. This is not (just) false modesty, or trying to lower my expectations. They get about 200 applications for six spots. The odds are not in my favor. I hoped by reading Shapiro’s works that I would be unimpressed to dull the pain of expected rejection, Instead, I read a book by a writer who feels like she’d be an ideal mentor for the manuscript I’m working on. So it will be all the more painful if I get my annual rejection email. Yet, I don’t need to get into the program to have her as a writing mentor. She’s written this book, two other memoirs, and several novels. There are many paths up the mountain. Her stuff is there to help anyone who reads it, who hears it, as I did. In case it’s not obvious, I’m not going to be returning the book, I’m going to be foisting it on my writer friends, and seeking out her other work. (Though perhaps from the library, for now.)

Will I get rejected again? Probably. But will I stop writing? Not yet. I’ve written this, and am off to work on something else. For now, I want to keep trying to be a better writer.

Probably Not Fatal

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Was it possible to die of loneliness, Nicole wondered. She lay alone in the giant king bed, listening to the neighbors having raucous sex, and didn’t doubt it for a moment.

[this is another fragment of a bigger piece I recently unearthed, one that I thought worked as flash fiction on its own.]

“After Julian”

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Right after Julian left town, people missed him. Time passed, and they began to miss other things. One of his roommates, Adam, couldn’t find his portable CD player. Their other roommate, Jason, couldn’t find his concert T-shirts. The bookstore discovered it no longer had a copy of the Hardcover Oxford Abridged English Dictionary. A co-worker couldn’t find his favorite bong. One of his exes couldn’t find her favorite sweatshirt or U2 CD. As people talked, they began to put it together. The conclusion was unmistakable. And in the NW corner of the country, Julian was safe from reprisals.

About a month after Julian left, everyone still missed their things. But they’d pretty much stopped missing Julian.

[Found this when I was putting together a writing sample. It was part of a larger manuscript, but I wondered if it worked as flash fiction.]

Who Wielded the Most Literary Influence?

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

From “Dickens, Austen and Twain, Through a Digital Lens,” (hat tip friend V)

Any list of the leading novelists of the 19th century, writing in English, would almost surely include Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Mark Twain.

But they do not appear at the top of a list of the most influential writers of their time. Instead, a recent study has found, Jane Austen, author of “Pride and Prejudice, “ and Sir Walter Scott, the creator of “Ivanhoe,” had the greatest effect on other authors, in terms of writing style and themes.

Numbers aren’t everything, but I find it interesting to ponder that Austen and Scott–reductively romance and adventure, hers and his–come out, literary DNA-wise, as the progenitors.

Also, how awkward is the punctuation of the article’s title, given the NYT choice not to use the Oxford comma? Perhaps only we copyeditors (copy editors?) would care or notice.

This Might Be Irony

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

But it might only be irony is the Alanis Morissette aspect, in which it’s just fitting, thought it’s not sucky.

I started blogging nearly 10 years ago over at Blogspot to increase my writing practice, which was sporadic at best. I didn’t yet have a kid, though I did have a full-time job as a copyeditor. Over the next few years, I wrote a bad novel, had a kid, resigned that job, moved, had another kid, survived a prolonged bout of post-partum despression, and hung around long enough that Kid 2, Guppy, started kindergarten last fall.

Over the past 10 years, I wrote a few things that got published in obscure places. I’ve revised that novel several times. (I’m _still_ working on it.) I started writing for my grocery store, the Eastside Food Co-op’s newsletter about food and wellness. Based on that I got a gig writing for a local-food website Simple Good and Tasty. Then I got a gig writing about kids and food for Minnesota Monthly’s food blog.

Over the past year, blogging here has gotten less and less frequent. I realized just this morning that it’s because I’m doing so much other writing. So the blog I started 10 years ago has resulted in a regular writing practice. (NB: not a lucrative writing practice, alas.) So regular, in fact, that I rarely have time for the practice that led up to this regularity. Huh.

I’m not saying I’m going to stop blogging. It’s a hard habit to break. (Apologies to you if that puts the Chicago tune in your head.) But it may help me stop feeling so bad for how infrequently I post nowadays, compared to those early, kidless, gigless years. It’s a higher class of problem, or a nice problem to have, as friends of mine might say.

“Winesburg, Ohio” by Sherwood Anderson

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson was recommended to me originally in the mid ’90s by one of my first writing teachers, Diana Cavallo. I took a copy from my in-laws’ basement on my trip west from Philadelphia to Minneapolis in 1998. It sat on my shelves until this year, when the same friend’s author mentor recommended it to her and she recommended it to me as happened with Maile Meloy’s Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It.

Anderson’s name is barely recognized today, and his most famous book relatively obscure compared to those of some of the writers who came after and credited him as an influence, like Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck.

The book is a novel in linked stories. Even though each story was about different people in the town, they all orbited one young man, George Willard, a reporter at the small town’s paper. His story is the anchor at the end.

The town is full of complex people leading quiet lives. They have painful pasts and often long for a lost love, or present sexual shenanigans. For a book from 1919, it’s quite sexually frank, I thought. I found it tough to get into but once the stories began to accumulate, I became involved in the town and its people, even when they thought and behaved badly, just as real people do.

Surfacing

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Greetings and Salutations, Friends and Readers! It’s been a while, no? Life’s been life-y lately, volunteering for an event at my kids’ school, applying to a writing contest/program, reading and struggling to understand Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, a case of double pink eye, plus the usual merry-go-round of family stuff like sports and piano and reading and writing and such.

I’m out of practice with blogging, but eager to get back in the saddle. I’ve got book reviews, a few anecdotes, maybe even some food posts, all banging like Athena in my head, trying to get out. I hope you’ll see some of that in the next few days, now that things have settled down a little bit. (Fingers crossed.)

Writers on Writing

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

My friend Amy of New Century Reading sent me a link to 25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer on The 99 Percent. I’m sure you’ve seen some variation of this article, where writers give advice on writing. It’s always useful, though, and this is a nice update with many modern writers. I’ve made good progress lately on the current draft of my novel, and these were particularly useful:

3. Esther Freud: On finding your routine…
Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.

4. Zadie Smith: On unplugging…
Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.

Once, when I was lost, I took this advice and was able to quickly get back on track:

7. Bill Wasik: On the importance of having an outline…
Hone your outline and then cling to it as a lifeline.

And #25 is a great “grain of salt.” Hope you enjoy this, too.

Other Writing

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

I need to leave for a meeting directly, and am frustrated with myself for yet another morning of not writing. (Please do not point out that I am actually writing. Writing anything of consequence is what counts, here.) My blogging habit is off, and I fritter my mornings away on Facebook, email, this, that and the other, then it’s lunch, nap, and time to get the boys from the bus. Poof. The time I thought was so free and open is gone.

I have been doing other writing, though, so I’m not an utter deadbeat. I also rejoined my writing group once 5yo Guppy started kindergarten, and am having another go at a novel. The fiction writing moves like atrophied muscles, or old, unused gears. But there is movement.

Here is some of the other writing I’ve done elsewhere, until I get back on the blogging horse/wagon/what have you:

Easiest Pumpkin Pie


Easy Turkey Pot Pie

My First Concert

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

This morning at the bus stop, one mom said she’d saved all her concert Ts, imagining she’d make a quilt out of them. I asked what her first concert was.

“Tesla!”

I asked the dad next to us, and he said, “Yes.” I was about to repeat the question when I realized he had answered it, which he clarified by adding “90125.” Which, thanks to my husband, who introduced 8yo Drake to Yes, gets played way more (meaning, at all) in our house than I’d like it to. Yeah, I remember the many versions of Leave It on MTV, and I owned the album on vinyl, but still.

My first concert was Sting’s Dream of the Blue Turtles tour. I told my friends this morning there was a story which I couldn’t tell while the kids were still around. I realized later I’d gotten mixed up in my head. The Sting concert isn’t much of a story.

I went with my friend P. We lived outside Columbus OH, and the concert was at a new outdoor stadium near Cincinnati. I drove. I think we bought some beer and waited to drink it there. Once in the stadium, though, when nature called, we discovered something upsetting. The venue had no bathrooms. And if we went outside the venue, we wouldn’t be allowed back in. In retrospect, this seems unbelievable. And perhaps it wasn’t true. We had been drinking. My memory of that concert is of holding it for 2 hours until we could finally leave the venue, and then waiting in what seemed an endless line at a porta-potty. Someone later told me that bladders don’t stretch. I’m pretty sure mine grew two sizes that day.

See? Not a great story. The one I was thinking of involved the same friend and going to see Desperately Seeking Susan. But that is another story for another day.

Back to School

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

I started fifth grade on the second day of school. I was sick on the first day, with one of the terrible sore throats I’d have for eight more years till I got my tonsils out. While sore throats were normal, I’m suspicious of the timing; I was starting a new school. Again.

My sisters started first and third grades on time, but Mom took me to work with her at church. I forgot my book, so I spent the day paging through Christian family magazines. I’m not sure if I felt better the next day, or was more willing to face a new class than the church basement, but I went to school.

Kindergarten through fourth grades were in the elementary school, but fifth graders were bussed to a squat brick building on the outskirts of town. The Union school had two classrooms on two floors, with music and tornado drills held in the basement. At recess, my teacher told me to go with Renee, a tiny girl who introduced me to the other kids. Everyone wanted to know why I hadn’t been in school yesterday.

“Sore throat,” I said, using few words because it still hurt. I might also have been shy. It was my fourth school by fifth grade, while most of the other kids had been together since kindergarten.

At the end of the day, the bell rang and four classes of students clambered onto one bus. The driver was an old man named Dickie. I sat by myself in the seat behind him, reading the book I’d forgotten to bring the day before. It was a Trixie Belden mystery that belonged to the best friend I’d just moved away from. Our parents said we’d see each other, but she’d given me the book as insurance.

Off the bus and into the car, I pled my sore throat and let my sisters tell Mom about their days. On the forty-five minute drive to the apartment we stayed in till our new house was ready, I read Trixie Belden and wished we hadn’t moved.

###

(P.S. 5yo Guppy started full-day kindergarten yesterday. I said I’d get back to writing fiction when that happened. As with fifth grade, I’m starting on the second day.

After the move, my friend’s and my parents were true to their words. We continued to see each other. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding, and her mother just friended me on Facebook.

This sounds sadder than I thought it would when I started. I think it also sounds like my parents might be divorced; they’re not. Finally, while places and people might resemble those in real life, this is not necessarily truly true. It’s “pretty much all true,” as Olivia the pig might say.)

Louise Erdrich’s “Advice to Myself”

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

I’m reading about Louise Erdrich as I prepare to discuss The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse tomorrow. In an interview she did with Bill Moyers, she includes this piece she wrote to herself as an encouragement to keep writing:

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs at the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don’t patch the cup.
Don’t patch anything. Don’t mend. Buy safety pins.
Don’t even sew in a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls under the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don’t keep all the pieces of the puzzle
or the doll’s tiny shoes, don’t worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic.
Go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don’t even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementoes.
Don’t sort the paperclips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we’re all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don’t answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
patiently on tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don’t read it, don’t read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience.

On Margaret Atwood and “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

From Nathalie Cooke’s Margaret Atwood: A Biography

Atwood started writing The Handmaid’s Tale in spring of 1984 while living in West Berlin and finished it later that year. It was published in 1985 to critical acclaim and would go on to be short-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize. While she wrote it, her husband said to her, “You’re going to get in trouble for this one.” Though she was well known in Canada previously as both a poet and novelist, this brought her a larger, international, mainstream audience. Her American publisher ordered a second printing before the first was even released.

She claims the original idea came from a dinner-party conversation about the dangers of religious fundamentalism. “No one thinks about what it would be like to actually act it out,” she or someone else said. Then she said, “I think I’ll write about that.”

In 1983 she began to compile a scrapbook about “the religious right wing, no-cash credit-card systems, on the low birth rate and prisons in Iran.” While the setting for the book is Cambridge and Boston Massachusetts, Atwood had traveled to Iran and Afghanistan, and the repressive rules for women she encountered there were also part of the inspiration for the near-future dystopia of Gilead.

Cooke quotes Atwood’s argument that The Handmaid’s Tale is not science fiction:

Science fiction is filled with Martians and space travel to other planets, and things like that. That isn’t this book at all. The Handmaid’s Tale is speculative fiction in the genre of Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Nineteen Eighty-Four was written not as science fiction but as an extrapolation of life in 1948. So, too, The Handmaid’s Tale is a slight twist on the society we have now. (277)

(Interestingly, this rejection of the SF genre is one speculative fiction, sci-fi and fantasy writers and readers would likely both agree and take issue with. They’d likely agree it was speculative fiction, but take issue with her separatism, since most works grouped in the sci-fi and fantasy genres can be better described as speculative fiction.)

In spite of this protest, The Handmaid’s Tale won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction in 1987.

What I Am, Is Sick of Spam

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Hat tip to Bread and Jam for Frances.

Every time I sign in to my weblog, I have oodles of spam; the Wordpress filters seem particularly inept of late.

7yo Drake, who is looking over my shoulder, (watch what she types, Guppy!), added:

What a piece of work is spam.

!!! My seven year old is making puns on Hamlet. I’m so proud I could burst.

This is actually not (so much) a post to gripe about it, but instead to say thanks to longtime commenters and now friends (virtual or otherwise and not in a particular order): Amy R, Kate F, Weirleader, Steph, Carolyn, Vince, Sarah, Thalia, Jessica, my aunt, my father in law, MFS, Susan P, Inquirer, Camille, and others who I can’t go on to name since I have a boy at each elbow and am no longer at leisure. Many thanks for your ongoing conversations. While this blog is my attempt to practice regular writing, it’s made much more enjoyable and challenging by the discussions and perspectives you bring!

“Stop When You are Going Good”

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Scott Gavin has a great excerpt from an interview with Roald Dahl in which he talks about his writing process:

But if you stop when you are going good, as Hemingway said…then you know what you are going to say next. You make yourself stop, put your pencil down and everything, and you walk away. And you can’t wait to get back because you know what you want to say next and that’s lovely and you have to try and do that. Every time, every day all the way through the year. If you stop when you are stuck, the you are in trouble!

I found it synchronous with my own thoughts on both writing and being online, and my attempt to limit bouts to 20 minutes. If I stop at 20 minutes, rather than trying to finish up, I don’t end up going to a next thing, and a next thing, and looking up and hours have passed without doing much at all.

Having the confidence to “stop when you are going good”, coupled with the ability to crank it up again the next day, feels like a more mature place to be in terms of one’s personal creative process.

Yep.