LAUREN MILLER

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The opposite of 9-5

Before I started writing full time, it took effort to turn my brain off at night.  I had to choose to not think about work anymore, and then I had to choose not to think about the dishes I still hadn’t done or how long it’d been since I’d worked out.  And then, maybe, my mind would go quiet for a few minutes, usually while I stared blankly at whatever show I’d DVRed three weeks earlier and still hadn’t had the chance to watch.

Now, there is no choice.  My brain does not turn off.  EVER.  Not during meals, not when I’m at the playground, not when I’m on the phone with a friend.  Not even during yoga, when I’m doing ujjayi breath and wearing my serene I’m-a-legit-yogi face.  I am always, always, thinking about my story.  

This sounds like an exaggeration.  Believe me, I wish it were.  I wish I could tell you that right now, I’m thinking about this post and the words that I’m typing.  But no.  I’m half focused on this while the rest of my brain is puzzling over the ending of Book 2, whether Rory should know whether the secret tunnel is or whether she should find it.  When I try to stop thinking about this, I start thinking about the title for Book 2, whether I should go with the suggestion from my favorite intern at ICM (Kyle, that’s you) — “Guided” — or come up with something else (thoughts on “Guided” as a title?).  I go to sleep at night thinking about the intricacies of my plot, and I wake up with a general sense of anxiety that the book I’m writing will not be nearly as cool as the story in my head.

Writing is not a 9-5 job.  It is not an 8-8 job.  It is an every-waking-hour-and-sometimes-while-I’m-sleeping job.  It’s not quite 24/7, but it’s at least 16.5/6.  

My brain is tired.