Home alone

So it’s a Friday night and I’m home alone, hunched over my computer, with Sex and the City reruns on in the background. Glamorous writing life, no?

In fairness, Andy’s out of town. On weekends we’d normally do stuff together. Or at least be boring together.

But don’t worry, I’ve always been fine with just myself for company. Perhaps the result of growing up as an only child? For better or worse, I don’t exactly know the meaning of “bored.” My imagination has always kept me entertained. Whether I was cutting out dolls from paper samples at my parents’ office, or scribbling stories in a composition notebook, I have always been spinning stories.

Now, that’s what I do all day every day. In the morning when I walk my dog, in the afternoons sitting at my desk, and even lately at night, when I’m trying to fall asleep. (Dear brain, where is your Off button?) I have to admit that I’m loving it — and that’s no April Fool’s joke.

But my streak of intense productivity didn’t last all week, or at least, not in the form of 2000+ words per day. But part of moving forward with a story is, inevitably, realizing what you got wrong before. So I spent some time this week working out logistics, doodling maps, running through different scenarios. It’s not as satisfying as putting words on the page, but just as important.

I’m not sure what the “point” of this post is. Maybe that’s the point: there isn’t some great revelation or amazing anecdote to be had every single day. Sometimes life is just “boring.” But those boring days are the investment. Eventually you get to cash in. Eventually you just might hit the jackpot.

15 responses to “Home alone”

  1. Carrie Avatar

    I love being home alone! Time seems to expand and the mind is free to wander. I totally agree about the investment days (but sometimes I wish I could cram them all into a cute musical montage and hit the jackpot just a little bit early).

  2. Juliann Wetz Avatar

    I miss boring days and time alone. I don’t seem to get many of those anymore. Well, boring days, sure, but time alone is a luxury. Enjoy it!

  3. gingermandy Avatar

    time alone is the best when you don’t live alone. and you will sooo hit the hell out of that jackpot someday.

  4. Sonja Avatar

    Figuring out your story? Doodling maps? Imagining lives? Doesn’t sound boring to me at all.

  5. Joelle Avatar

    Alone time = doodle time = fresh input for stories = getting it done = being able to get the rewrites done = a polished product = attracting an agent = publication = PARTY time!


  6. Sherrie Petersen Avatar

    I love alone time. I’m one of those people that need a lot of it. When you find that off switch for your brain, can you send me one, too?

  7. M.E. Anders Avatar

    Kristen, I understand the feeling of “prep” work for long-term projects. Though it’s not as glamorous as saying that you met your 2,000 word goal…it will allow you to meet that goal consistently.

    Planning is key to successful completion.

  8. Kristan Avatar

    I think we all wish that sometimes, hehe.

    Oh I hope you’re right!!

    Yeah, haha, that’s why it got quotes around it. Then again, some people *would* find it boring. Those crazies…

    I like your word math!

    I didn’t find the switch, but after 3-4 nights of not sleeping well, I did finally crash on Fri night.

    Exactly. :)

  9. Trisha Avatar

    I am dragging Susan to a meditation class on Tuesday. Trying to teach her how to quiet that noise in her brain (and mine). Hereditary?

  10. Jon Avatar

    I think people underrate being bored. I always look for little things to do, but I don’t spend enough time just really doing nothing–to paraphrase A.A. Milne.

  11. Sarah Avatar

    So true…every day is progress and some are more exciting than others. I do find that it takes a lot for me to get bored, and that’s when I do manage to turn off my brain. xx

  12. Les Avatar

    I like being home alone too, although with the 3 Danes it’s never really alone ;p

  13. Kristan Avatar

    Bad knees, overactive mind… crud, what else did we get?

    Haha, yes. Riley doesn’t have quite the presence of 3 Danes… but he keeps me from being lonely. :)

  14. Alex Wilson Avatar

    Talk about making lemonade out of lemons. You spend a boring evening at home alone and it comes out as insight and profundity. Is there nothing you can’t burnish with your writing?

  15. Kristan Avatar

    Aww, thanks Alex.