Sunday, April 24, 2005


I've been having a writing rush tonight. I don't usually do this, but the muse got tickled and I thought I'd knock out a few pages.

I started typing around 9 p.m. tonight last night. You know the kind of word rush that starts hot, finds more fuel somewhere and then goes nuclear on you? That kicked in about 9:30 pm. You can't type fast enough to keep up with the flow, and your mind is three pages ahead already, and you're forgetting to do things like blink and exhale because oxygen is not as vital as capturing what you see and hear in your head. Writing like you're swinging a sledgehammer --

I lost a lot of you at nuclear, didn't I? And the sledgehammer thing is a little disturbing. Sorry. It's hard to describe.

I love these rushes, though. If I am ever like water, it's when the words are flowing like this. I know I'll have to do some buffing and polishing tomorrow, or once my hands stop smoking, but the words felt right as they hit the page, if that makes any sense.

What bugs me is that I have no idea what sets off a rush. I don't think I did anything. I quilted a little this morning. We looked at a house that we really liked. Great kitchen; I could cook for a small army in it. I wrote my daily quota, did some weeding. Took the kids to a pool party and the man out to lunch. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the cobb salad.

Tonight I could stand on the roof and shout, Look at me, I'm a writer! Tomorrow I'll probably wrestle with every paragraph that hits the screen, end up way under quota and think, Look at me, I went to bed at 1:41 am last night.


  1. Ah...I love word vomit. But isn't it a shame how from on day to the next you have no idea when you're going to be afflicted with it? *G*

  2. Made it through nuclear just fine. Sledgehammer? Makes sense. What triggers it? The writing virus, of course. How to catch it--that's the trick.

  3. The rush of words. Where does it come from? It doesn't happen to me often. Usually I plod along, writing my daily quota, occasionally topping it. But sometimes it happens as you described it. Where does it come from? I wonder if it isn't the result of our subconscious dwelling on a point in the novel until it bubbles out of our brains like lava. I like it when it happens.
    Bob Liter

  4. Anonymous10:01 AM

    Oh, yeah baby. Ain't it grand? I wrote a lot of Ghosts that way, typing desperately to keep up with the the rush... Sledghammer is a perfect analogy, btw, the words just slam out.

    Congrats, hon! :)

  5. Heh. The ONLY scene I've ever written like this ended up being cut from the book it was in. *g* I NEVER write like this. Doesn't matter that I see the scene unfolding. The words don't slam! They tiptoe!

  6. Anonymous11:53 AM

    Nuclear? Sledgehammer? Sounds about right. It doesn't happen all that often, but it's so great when it does. :)

  7. I call that white heat, where you can't stop typing.

  8. You're talking to writers. At least MOST of us know exactly what you're talking about, if not at your volume. I used to call in midnight inspiration back when I went to bed at 10 cause I would leap up around midnight and write the night away. Now, it happens more rarely but also at all times in the day. The not breathing part is a real big one for me. Not so much the sledgehammer though. I go gently on the keys ;).

    P.S. Thanks for the stats on If Angels Burn.

  9. those rushes are very spoiling -- at least to me -- each time it happens, the usual writing seems sooo difficult. I want my rush back ! :)


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