Writers Tricks of the Trade ISSUE 3, VOLUME 7 - Page 20

W RITE U NTIL I T B URNS ! L AWRENCE D. E LLIOTT L AWRENCE D. E LLIOTT is an author and contributor to the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He's also a contributor to HuffPost. He's a member of Toastmasters International and has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal Radio Network. A native of San Diego, California, he's lived in Germany for over 6 years. He still understands the language. Visit his website Chicken Soup for the Soul Contributor Member of Toastmasters International F ALL 2017 A laptop. Inspirational music. A glass of wine. A dog named Lacie. At one time in my life, these were my writing tools of choice. It didn’t hurt having a great environment, either. I called it my writer’s paradise. A backyard with a well-designed pool, a huge lava fire pit, and a landscape replete with palms of numerous varieties. How many hours had I spent writing -- either in the pool with a notepad and pen or at the patio table with my laptop -- while soft music played through the backyard speakers? Too many to count, I assure you. It was a warm night, so I wore a pair of shorts and a light t-shirt. Beside my chair--and quite often under it--would always be Lacie, our beautiful black lab/border collie mix. She loved curling up nearby as her daddy worked. But eventually, the world of my material being was often no longer important. The one I was creating was a new reality. My focus was there. But sometimes being so consumed can be pushed to the extreme. This would become clear on one particular night. It was still, except for the soft music. It was new age, which created the perfect mood for my late night writing. My writer's paradise was replete with landscape lighting, which highlighted the palms. In the far corner, between two segos sat an illuminated mini waterfall. On the opposite corner was the fire pit, not far from the pool. I loved lighting it because it gave off its own particular glow. My fingers moved across the keyboard at a feverish pace. The flame of a tabletop candle played kaleidoscopic games through the brandy glass. But I stayed focused on the words, On the story. Between sprints lasting as long as ten minutes, I’d enjoy a sip of brandy. A short-term reward for a long-term project. Quite often, I’d hear the ruffling sounds among the shrubbery and trees. Unbeknownst to me, Lacie had taken her leave of me to track down a small creature she’d heard moving about. Go get ‘em, Lacie! Once in awhile, I’d stand, stretch, and walk around to get the blood flowing in my body. Then, I’d sit and get back to work. I was in the flow and I didn’t want to interrupt it too long. Come on, man! A thousand more and you can go to bed! Tap. Tap. Tap. I pushed myself to reach my goal, even though it was close to two in the morning. I was physically tired, but my mind was still sprinting. I drained the last drop of brandy from my glass. I contemplated getting a bit more. No! That would mean stopping. I decided to push ahead without it. P AGE 12 W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE TRADE