Once a year I let rip! For nearly two weeks I live out my fantasies to the full, only them I obey, only them I serve!
This year the set up looked better than ever: My neighbours have packed up their car and gone on holiday (so no one can spy on me). My children have been sent off on a two week summer camp ( so no responsibility). And my husband is away working very hard in some different country (so I am practically single again). There is the small issue of Peirene. But hey, no one is answering my e-mails anyway and if I get a reply it’s a holiday bouncer “I will be away from my desk all of July and August and won’t be checking my e-mails.” Well, ok then, I will just stop writing e-mails!
And NOW: I am The Writer. And let me be even clearer: not any odd writer but a Novel Writer. We Germans have a particular Romantic idea about the novel writer. And that’s what I try to live up to during these two weeks. The Writer, who only lives for the words. I don’t cook, I don’t wash, I don’t even put the dishes in the dishwasher, I eat take-away pizzas. I’ve already come up with some spots but who cares, I am also not seeing or talking to anyone. I am all engrossed in deep thought and wonderful words.
Usually my writer-self gets three hours allocated in the morning. Before its children, afterwards it’s Peirene, then children, then household/husband/ friends/networking, then bed. Whenever I meet a writer, who only writes and thinks, I feel extremely jealous. And I ask questions like, so how many words do you write then? Only a 1000 in eight hours. I do that in two! Ha! And how many thoughts do you have, heh? And let me tell you, I’ve read the Bible, and Dante, all three parts! Yes, and the whole of Nietzsche. Jawohl!
So now I am a Writer 24/7. And have I produced 12 000 words? Of course not. I could explain, that I am actually right now not in word production mode, ie. writing a first draft, but rather at the revision stage, which by nature is not so word intensive. Still, nothing prevents me from engaging fully with the text all day long, does it? I stare a lot at the screen, that’s true. But I don’t really get on with it. Rather I am busy with anxiety attacks, lots of them throughout the day. I ask about my ability to write. I wonder if my story is any good. Am I a real writer? And what actually is a real writer?
I did however manage to get hold of one deep thought over the last couple of days: Perhaps the romantic idea of a lone writer 24/7 in the attic just doesn’t suit the multi-tasking geniuses that we women are. Perhaps we produce much better literature/art when accepting that it is simply one of the things we do.