Getting Through the Wait

We writers are a unique bunch. Even when we aren’t writing, our characters live in our heads. Ideas flow, pencil and paper wait nearby ready to catch fleeting thoughts. Always the muse tugs, leading us toward our next writing day.

This is what Ernest Hemingway said:

 “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling. . . Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”

When you stop writing for the day, how do you get through the wait? Can you put writing out of your head completely? Tell us how.



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5 responses to “Getting Through the Wait

  1. Holly Michael

    This is a very enlightening post. I like the ending way advice. I think I’ll start tomorrow, following it. It’s hard to get them out of your head, and then there’s those new characters from the upcoming novels that try to get inside your head. What a life it is, being a writer.

  2. What a life indeed, Holly! Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  3. So glad you shared this, Jean! I rarely put writing out of my head completely, for something always pops up that gives me an idea, or an improvement for something I’m working on, etc. This is why I make sure I have pen and paper close by at all times.

  4. Great advice, Jean. I particularly love the point of leaving a bit as starter for the next day. Hmm, it reminds me of cooks, who keep starter buttermilk for future batches. They never run out. Perhaps this is how you keep the writing juices flowing.

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