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The Perfect Storm
by Lauri Corkum
I think it’s safe to say that we, as writers, are a pattern driven, superstitious bunch. The conditions have to be just right—it’s almost like the planets have to align before we can put words on paper. Okay… perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But truthfully, at times, our routines border on the bizarre. So, what happens to our writing day when everything goes spectacularly wrong?
I had one such day… well; actually, it was a day that turned into a week (plus). I live in Florida. The Sunshine State. NOT! We have more storms, more lightning strikes per capita than any other state. One poorly directed bolt hit my house, frying an entire circuit breaker and, more importantly, the power to my office and my cable internet. I spent hours on the phone with the cable company, but the issue was frustratingly persistent. Apparently, the lightning strike had done substantial damage and I was going to be “unplugged” until a service technician could make a house call. Six days later, he arrived and thought he fixed the problem. However, he neglected to check my internet fully, and the router was not functioning. It was a casualty of the storm as well.
So, a few days later, I ran to Best Buy to get a new router. I hooked it up all on my own, running an extension cord from the living room into my office as that room was still without power (courtesy of the storm and I had yet to get an electrician out to fix the blown circuit). Now, I bet you’re thinking that the stress involved in dealing with this mess totally stifled any creativity I had. But, a strange thing happened. While I was “unplugged”, my characters started talking to me. And lo and behold, entire conversations, fleshed out scenes, and intricate plot twists started flowing out of me and onto the page of my notebook. Yes, I put pen to paper the old fashioned way.
Being stressed, frustrated, and technologically free actually helped my creativity in ways I never would have expected. My novel veered off in a surprising direction, and I was more productive during the chaos than I was amid my carefully constructed routines. Live and learn, fellow writers. Trust me… you don’t need lightning to strike before, well… before lightning strikes. You know what I mean! Happy writing!
Note from Sheryl: I copied the same post to WordPress because I forgot (until too late) that I had Alex change the link. It doesn’t matter where you read, just that you do. And let us know if you’ve ever had lightning strike where it matters most, your ideas.