A day in the writing life of Andrew Fukuda
Try as I may to keep a regular writing schedule, my daily writing life looks quite different one day from the next. I used to be the kind of writer who had to have everything just so, with everything lined up in place, the mouse positioned perfectly center on the mouse pad, the computer screen tilted at five degrees. I had set times for writing, usually at night. And most of all, I needed utter silence, only the tap-tap of my typing fingers allowed to intrude my ears.
But then I had kids – which means I’ve had to learn to be much more flexible. And much less punctilious. I’ve learned to write in small pockets of time – five minutes when the boys are miraculously focused on their homework, or that glorious fifteen minutes in the parked car when the boys have fallen asleep in their car seats. I’ve written the most romantic scenes with the boys yelling and hooting all around me. I’ve written graceful, delicate dialogue while being pelted by Nerf balls.
I’ve learned how:
- to stop writing mid-sentence (read: being stopped mid-sentence), only to pick it up three hours later without missing a beat;
- to write in a hailstorm of noise. I’ve actually been conditioned to now being incapable of writing in silence – I need noise, preferably movie scores even when I’m alone at home;
- to wake up early. When I’m in the thick of writing (read: facing a looming deadline), I wake up hours before the crack of dawn. Those couple of hours when it seems I’m the sole person awake not only in the house, or even city, but in the whole world, really sets me in the perfect writing mood (after the sufficient dose of coffee, of course).
- to not write at night. After the kids have been put to bed, my brain is fried. I have nothing left, nothing creative, no more words to put down. If I force words out, I usually end up deleting them the next morning. I’ve learned to turn in earlier so that I can wake up earlier.
- to thank my kids more. Seriously. One thing about not having eons of time to meditate about sub-sub-sub plots or nuances of mood, is that you have to be incredibly efficient with time. You don’t have the luxury of cutting out whole chapters, or pantsing your way through the first draft. You have to be uber-efficient. You can’t over-write. You do away with purple prose. And all this makes you into a better author. So, boys: thank you. And I mean that.
Thank you, Andrew, for such a great guest post! Be sure to check out Andrew's website and The Prey, which was released on 31st January!