If we’ve crossed paths either virtually or in real life, you may know that a number of years ago I coined the term writerhead to describe the state of mind/being writers are in at the purest moments of creation.
You know…those beautiful (sometimes excruciating) sh, sh, sh, ssssssshhhhhh, I’ve got to get this down moments when words are bubbling, popping, zinging, and swinging. The ones when the “real” world disappears behind a gauzy cloud (insert sucking sound here…sssppphhhhtttt) and the imaginative world takes on firmer lines and brighter hues.
Some writers call it the flow or the zone or the groove. Others refer to it as writerland. And if you eavesdrop on a gaggle of writers talking about it after a few margaritas, you might even hear it referred to as either nirvana or hell (maybe both).
I call it writerhead.
The marvelous, amazing, captivating thing about writerhead (besides its own inherent magic) is that each writer’s writerhead is unique. While one author might compare it to floating on clouds, another might compare it to being boiled alive in a vat of molten lava. While one might be apt to drift into writerhead only after midnight, another swears that writerhead only happens between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 in the afternoon.
For me, writerhead is most likely to occur at my desk very early in the morning (5:00ish) when it’s just me and the rising sun, but I’ve also slipped into writerhead in an airplane heading to Chicago; the Leopold Café in Mumbai, India; a temple in Chengdu, China; a mountaintop in New Mexico; and believe it or not, one particular swimming pool in Shanghai. (I’ll have more to say about my own writerhead—and more questions about yours—in future posts.)
I’m happy to say that while this blog is going to explore all things writerly, it will have a slight bias toward the celebration and exploration of writerhead. Join me on this journey, and together we shall plumb the depths.
Here’s what you can look forward to:
- Every Wednesday (Writerhead Wednesday) I’ll be featuring a very cool, brilliantly talented author/thinker who will answer three questions about her personal writerhead that allow us to crawl into her noggin & (ever so gently) muck about. So far, I’ve got an awesome lineup that includes Eugenia Kim (The Calligrapher’s Daughter), Alain de Botton (A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary), Emily Perkins (Novel About My Wife), and Alan Paul (Big in China). Many more to come…
- Each Saturday (Expat Sat) is reserved for all you brave, beautiful, curious, writerly expats scattered around the globe. This feature is for Canadians in Germany, Peruvians in India, Americans in China, Columbians in Switzerland, and all other combinations of ________s in ________. All of you cultural spelunkers who’ve dropped anchor in a foreign land and are looking around saying, “Wow!” or “Whoa!” or “Cool!” or “Oh my god!” (or on certain days at certain intersections, “Holy *#@&^!”). Those of you with a story to tell and the urge to write it down.
- Mondays are hereby dubbed Misc Mondays…on which I will post about anything that takes my fancy, including but not limited to: interesting stuff happening in the publishing world, cool apps for writers, links to writing conferences and contests, etc. I might even keep you updated on the situation with the insane birdseed-stealing squirrel in my backyard who told me to “Fill the *^%#&* feeder or else!” (then yelled “Winning!”) You never know what you’re going to get on Mondays.
- And finally, I reserve the right to post good stuff on any other day of the week if the spirit moves me.
Thanks for stopping in to WRITERHEAD’s inaugural party! Please take a few minutes to browse the site and leave a comment.
If so moved, you can subscribe to the blog via email or RSS feed. (And expats, please check out the new online writing workshop I’m launching just for you. It’s going to be fun…and productive. The first session begins May 1.)