Writing at the Kitchen Table: Bacon and Eggs and Literary Fiction
After all my travels and wandering and jet lag, I'm trying to settle in again to my personal space--my home, my bliss. There a certain hangover quality to all this. I can't get my grip on it. Bliss is, after all, illusive.
A writer's routine is a fiction writer's life blood--no routine, no writing. Routine is responsible for the warp and woof of good fiction, for the depth of the knap of the word-woven carpet. The brain/body duality loves routine. But I don't know why.
Something about brain waves, I suspect. I do notice this: During the process of writing hard and close and uninterrupted for a few hours, my brain switches gears. Then, when I stop and move on to something else, like say, driving to the supermarket, it's a struggle. I'm in a sort of fog. Easy, habitual physical acts don't work right. I forget where I'm going, have to think about simple, reflexive movements and decisions. My poor wife worries that the old man is losing something important.
After a few hours, things are back to normal. The writer's brain surrenders. The practical, non-dreaming brain takes control again. Tomorrow morning, early, I will try to summon the dreaming brain again by settling into my writer's routine. In the early dawn, as I drift slowly up from deep sleep, I've learned to allow myself to float along with the rising of consciousness, of increasing awareness. But then I can stop at a place where the dreaming continues but the awareness of the dreaming is real: I know what is happening, but the mind is taking me places I would not be able to go later when fully awake. I call this meta dreaming.
The secret then, is to bring this state of mind with me down to the place where I write. To drink my coffee and sit back in my big, soft chair and continue the controlled dream of writing fiction.