There was a time when my first thoughts in the morning weren’t:
The Fictional: The physical place doesn’t really matter. We live in our heads. I can plot anywhere as long as I’m alone. Even when I’m not alone, an idea will present itself that I jot down and develop at a different time. Creating the story necessitates immersing ourselves in fiction. We ask ourselves the “What if” question, and reality falls away.
The Real: Just like ironing or washing cars, writing is real work. After creating the story, we must call upon our judgment and skills to present the story as its best. That’s when the real work happens.
But—this week, I’m going on vacation to Hatteras Island, the setting for my novel (of course) as I do periodically all year. I won’t be on the Internet or communicate with other writers as much. Often, this results in my being more productive, but on this “girls’ week” trip, I doubt that will happen. I’m going to spend most of this week being in reality, which comprises about one third of my time. (Aside from sleeping—a necessity I find vexing.) Yes, I’ll read and maybe even write. But I’ll also talk with friends, drink happy hour, commune with nature, go swimming and shelling and appreciate the real world. How else can I write with authenticity? But is the real world actually my reality? Sometimes I think not. My writing is my reality.
What’s the real world for you?