When I am deep inside writing a book, I liken it to being underwater in the deep, deep end of the pool. I struggle to come up for air, but I’m not drowning. It’s a feeling that I imagine a sensory deprivation tank might be like, but instead of being cut off from everything, I am deep inside the story. Sometimes, the words come so hard and fast that I don’t want to eat, sleep, or interact with others. I want to drown myself in words. Sometimes, the words and ideas come so fast, and furiously they cause a small headache as different ideas crash and bang inside my head.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It only means that the creative fire has smoked, sparked, and burst into flame. The difficult thing is which idea to work on? They all vie for attention. I may be focusing on one book, but other book ideas, snippets of dialogue, paragraphs, interesting words, and plot twists have their own cheerleaders to bring attention their way. The dangerous part is that it can steer me off course of a looming deadline.
My very patient family knows that “book-land” is a sacred place, a Zenlike space that I crave to be in some days more than others. I count myself lucky with their never-ending patience.