Mike Dariano


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Writing My Book (part 5)

I have no idea how much time this project has taken me. I’ve done at least fifteen hours of writing and five hours of editing but that’s all I’ve kept track of and it seems much longer. It should be twice, even three times that number because that’s what it feels like mentally. Writing this book feels like a walk through the woods, with Thoreau not Frost. I’m hacking through parts and walking in streams. My shoes are getting wet, drying, and then getting wet again. All the while though I’m starting to see more beauty. The writing is a reflection of my life and in taking the time to look it reminds of what I have - two great kids, and one great wife.

These metaphorical walks mostly happen between 5:30 and 7:30 in the morning. If I want to write I need to make my own time for it. I wake up and make coffee then open up my laptop. I check Twitter and Instapaper to let my brain warm up like an expert puppeteer gets ready to preform and then turn my hands over to him and let the show begin.

During the proofreading stage I found other times; waiting to pick up kids, at the dentist office, and in the evenings. It was challenging balancing these times with a family. I almost never worked on this book when my wife or daughters were awake and at home, choosing instead to spend time with them. This is beside the normal household chores and a fair bit of running.

This is why writing has seemed slow and laborious, but maybe that’s how it always is. There isn't a writer who sits at an oak throne with a bookshelf lined with well worn pages of The Road and Tolkien and spare parts for his MacBook Air. We sit at homemade desks and kitchen tables with black tape holding our laptop batteries in place. “I wrote my first two published novels, Carrie and ‘Salem’s Lot, in the laundry room of a doublewide trailer, pounding away on my wife’s portable Olivetti typewriter and balancing a children’s desk on my thighs.” wrote Stephen King.

I’ve got notes scribbled in notebooks, receipts, and digitally. There is so much to write about and so little time to do it. I want to write more, but like a hike I need to rest. I need to take time to eat and converse and live. In the past six months I’ve grown to enjoy writing even more and hopefully this book will reflect that.

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