Friday, June 20, 2008

Observations from Week One

It's Friday morning and my first day off from Freelance Writing Camp in order to spend time with the family (and get free food.) For those who don't know, I've been writing every morning this week in camp-style: at another location, with good food and drink and lots of productivity. My insightful insights and observant observations are below.

The luxury of time. It's amazing to sit down in a cafe and have three hours to write. Normally I have to write an hour before school starts, so I'm stressed and tired. But now I'm relaxed and I get a lot more done.

Need for assignments. I had trouble yesterday because I didn't have enough work, and the book was stalling like a 1983 Volvo. I'm planning on researching some different markets this weekend, so I have enough work for next week.

Best food & drink: Luna bars and Arnold Palmers. The best writing food is usually something like popcorn or trail mix, which can be eaten continously. As far as Best Writing (Non-Alchoholic) Drink, I need something large and low-cal and not totally sweet. Arnolds are working nicely.

To bring music or not. I brought my own music because I had differences of taste and volume with the store's stereo. However, I brought one of my favorite CDs (Relient K's Five Score and Seven Years Ago) and spent too much time listening when I should have been writing. I think I'll go with Disney next time.

Mixing it up. I work on my novel as well as freelance assignments (essays & articles.) Depending on my state of mind, or how early it is, I work on logical pieces (articles, how-tos, advice) and then meandering pieces (essays) and then creative ones (the book.)

Good rhythm. Can I say that I love this schedule? A regular writing time is not a chore (when you get enough sleep), it's a gift. The cafe workers probably think I'm nuts, as I sit down every morning with a huge strawberry tote and look meditative for three hours.
This weekend, look for our regular issue and a round-up of our past Bookshelf interviews. Next week, it's Freelance Writing Camp Gone Crazy with celebrities, pets and weirdest market ever.

2 comments:

Pema said...

:) I have a hard time eating while I'm writing - once I start chipping into that trail mix, I get really into my writing and start just subconciously reaching in and finishing the whole bag. No matter how large it is - ;)

You hear a lot of people say that they "don't have time to write" - but that's why one has to create time for themselves to write. Whether it's at the crack of dawn, six in the evening, or midnight. A writer keeps writing.

Sue LaPointe said...

Gabrielle - just found your blog and love it! How cool is it that you're already a working writer?? Do you know how long some adults tread water before they finally figure out how to make their passion for writing actually pay? Well done!

I'm about to do my own little writing retreat next week - and will take your tips to heart. When I've done them in the past, it's been away. This go-round it'll be at home (and probably at Starbucks or Exodus Coffee), so kind of different. Working on a guide for succeeding on Guru and also a book for college students who'd rather write than flip burgers : )

Keep up the great work! I'm going to add your blog to my Squidoo lens:
http://www.squidoo.com/collegefreelancers