Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Writer Wednesday: Mike Jensen

Sixty Minute Writer

“It’s almost 5:30; must hurry!” Talking to myself, I dry off from the shower, get dressed as if going to work, including socks but minus shoes. “This is just as important as your real job.”

I choke down a piece of toast, maybe a bowl of cereal. Only 5 minutes left.
Firing up the laptop, I take my position on the couch: the far right side, turned sideways back leaned against the side arm, legs stretched out across the cushions and crossed at the ankles. The laptop lies across my lap.

“Hey it really is a laptop!” I occasionally muse. With one of the throw pillows propped underneath the lower edge, the laptop becomes properly leveled. “I would hate to put too much slant in my writing too early in my writing career.” I make that joke to myself way too many times.

5:30 arrives and the fingers begin to find their way to the keys in a flurry of hunt and peck motions that would awe many if ever seen. I become a writer for the next hour. Nearly everyday, for a few years now, this morning hour has become my world of fantasy and I disappear into it. It is a world where I get to dictate whether it rains or shines, who gets to say what to whom, and, sometimes even who lives and dies. It is mine.

All others in the household sleep and leave me to my solitary hour. Occasionally someone will get up and make the mistake of trying to keep me company in my office that for the other twenty-three hours serves as a living room for our family of seven, but they are usually rebuked. Not verbally, but visually and ignoringly.

That hour, that room, that couch, and that ritual are how I maintain sanity with all the ideas and voices and stories and characters that roam inside my head. I reflect on aspects of them all the time but that hour is the only time they are allowed to gain their corporal form within the words upon a screen. At the stroke of 6:30, the real world of job, kids’ school and bus schedules will again take center stage and the writer and his stories must go dormant once again.

In my efforts of sixty minutes a day, I have completed two works. One, the first, is too big and yucky for anyone to seriously be able to publish. Not even self-publish, (that was a joke). My second attempt might be something. It’s on a sub-mission, as I call it, right now. With luck, it’ll return with some good news soon.

Why do I do this? Because I want to. No other real reason. Do I hope one day that a story sells so much I can do this for more than an hour? Sure. I would love to eventually not go to a day job. But who doesn’t? I also, however, don’t know what “more” means. Two hours a day? Four hours? Sixteen hours? I might have to get a more comfortable couch.

I admit that wafting within the keystrokes and misspelled words with their cute red swigglies underneath them; I do find slivers of time to wonder if one day I will actually be a sixty-minute author. I like to think one day I will. Maybe I can get a desk. Maybe a home office. Maybe… Until that problem arises, I’ll just worry about my world as it is.

If not. It’s OK. I’ll still be on the couch the next morning. Awake, showered, dressed for work and plugging away at a new story. It’s what I do. It’s has become an important facet to who I am. It is now something I would miss if I stopped. I mean, what else would I do with that hour? Sleep? Sleep is for wimps.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks Mike for sharing your morning ritual and sense of humor with us. Thanks to all of you for stopping by today. You can find more about Mike through his blog Miked Up! and follow him on Twitter @mmj5170 .

If you would like more info about this series, or would like to be a guest please follow this link Writer Wednesdays: The Intro .

Kristin : )


  1. Great story, Mike. Your perseverance will be rewarded.

    Thanks for sharing, Kirstin.

  2. I love it - nice to "meet" you, Mike. I'm your night-owl counterpart...on the couch, far right side, every night from 10:30pm to midnight. :-)

    You have a fabulous perspective, and a wonderful attitude. Best of luck getting that novel (and those to follow) published!

    Thanks for another great post, Kristin. :-)

  3. It's fascinating to me to see how other writers work ~ especially prose as opposed to poetry {or at least the way I write poetry.} From what I've learned most, if not all, writers of prose sit down with the intention of writing and then do so for whatever length of time they have set aside. If I try to "force" the poetry, the only thing I can guarantee is that it will be rubbish. It comes when it comes. I guess it's a good thing that you write novels, Mike. Best of luck and thanks for sharing.

  4. You can get a lot of writing done is 60 minutes. Sounds like you have a great disciplined habit going. And you enjoy yourself in the process. That is vitally important. My husband always says concerning my writing, if you're not enjoying yourself, why bother?
    Thanks for sharing your writing life and with such pointed humor. :)