Punch in, punch out. To me this phrase reeks of negativity. But I must embrace it as the hard reality of writing. Kate DiCamillo, in Dana Murphy’s post on Two Writing Teachers says to “Do the work.” So I’m taking her advice. I know talking about writing, getting ready to write, rehearsal is important. However, you must go to the country of writing. Sit in the chair. Put the words on the page. Fix them. Think more. Reread. Discover and build it into something new. For the last two days, I know I have not put in the time. I have not punched in. I thought about it a lot. Honestly though, I never arrived. I will try and put into words what I mean by being there, in the country of writing.
When I’m there, it feels all new. There is an energy of excitement and wonder. It is organic. I feel traces from times in the past when I have been there before. There is an uncovering or an evolution of ideas. It happens when I sit four hours in the chair. I like the goal writing of Stephen King and Kate DiCamillo. They count the characters or the pages. It sounds like the practice an athlete puts into a race, built on many hours of workouts. Even though it doesn’t feel spectacular everyday. There is the promise of it.
So today will be time in the chair. This is my warm up, my rehearsal. Now I have to just do it.