Obstacle course…

So in the universe’s neverending quest to ensure that I never get this manuscript done, now I’VE been sick. I did manage to get a bit of work done yesterday but not as much as I’d like by any means.

I had a fairly unusual (for me) writing experience last week:  I found myself in a coffeeshop with a notebook in hand and some time to kill so I started making notes and I’m happy to say that I managed to figure quite a bit of what is going to happen ‘beyond the wall’. I was calling it thus because I could see a rather formidable wall looming in the distance – and not only was I not sure how I was going to deal with the wall itself, I also had no idea what I was going to find beyond it. Admittedly, I was still pretty discouraged when I actually hit said wall, but figuring out what happens after definitely helped me start finding the weak spots. A few days of bashing away at it (and being too ill to do much actual writing) means that I’ve now crumbled it some. I’m still not 100% sure how everything is going to tie together but I’m just trying to keep the words “first draft” in the forefront of my mind and remember that even if I have to write “segue this later” here and there, that’s fine for this stage.

Also, this book is looking like it is going to be very long – there’s going to have to be a lot of cutting come editing time. I was told to try to keep it at around 100K…my hope was to finish at about 120 and then do some cutting. Well, I’m sitting at 90K right now and it’s um, not going to be done in 10K.  I have some doubt it will be done in 30K. But again, first draft…right?

(Oh and I still have no idea how it’s going to actually end.  I’ve come to accept the fact that it is going to have to be part of a duet or trilogy but I have to find a good spot to finish where the story will still be self-contained enough).

And, as if I didn’t have enough distractions, a friend’s manuscript is sitting in a box on my couch at this very moment as well…

 

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And how Fridays should *not* be.

Feeling very creatively stuck right now.  The week has been ridiculously productive – after that short stumble on Sunday, I have managed to go above and beyond my word-count quota every single day.  Except today.  There’s no real reason for this.  I spent the morning in a coffeeshop, rather than at my usual table, looking out the window.  I had my coffee this morning, and it was even reasonable coffeeshop coffee, rather than what I make.  I probably haven’t had enough sleep, but I never have enough sleep.  Kid 1 slept through the night, and while baby 2 is making me uncomfortable, it’s certainly no more so than usual.  Due to my coffeeshop drop-off this morning, I even got in a short walk this morning coming home…and with the weather the way it is, it’s unlikely I would have left my house otherwise.

The story itself isn’t the issue either.  I know where I am in the plot, I know exactly what happens next.  This is not one of those dreaded issues or bottlenecks that I’m sure will be upcoming.  The words themselves just aren’t there.  When they do come, they’re plodding, annoying to me.  There’s no lyricism in them and that makes them both difficult to write and irritating to read over.

I’ve taken breaks.  I went and read some more of Daemon Prism (which, while wonderful, makes my current lack of lyricism feel particularly glaring).  I took my walk.  I emailed some friends.  Hell, I even went and made myself a smoothie instead of throwing myself into the familiar comfort of coffee and (mostly likely) cookies.  (that being said, coffee is likely to follow said smoothie).

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m putting too much pressure on myself, if I should try to cut my wordcount down…not a lot, just a little…so that I can concentrate more on crafting the work rather than just writing down words.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased with what I’ve done up to this point.  But I want to make sure that I’m working with the skill I know I’m capable of.  Of course, the thought of cutting down wordcount scares me because it means first draft might not be done by baby 2.  And that worries me quite a bit.

And yes, I recognize that there’s a good chance that this pressure and stress is contributing to this (hopefully temporary) dry spell.

Mostly I feel like my Muse, my truly creative and inspired side, has decided to take a rather determined nap.   And while I feel that she likely needs to be poked, probably with something sharp, I’m more than willing to listen to suggestions of other ways I might wake her up.

Okay…go.

How Mondays *should* be.

After a dragging myself through a bit of a writing slough last night – busy all day and then utterly drained by the time I sat down at my keyboard – today went remarkably well.  I set my normal wordcount of 2500 for a non-kid day and had upped it to 2600 to make up for the fact that half of last night’s work was actually rework.  By noon I had hit 3600.  I’ve reached a part that I really like, so rewriting it in the new style came very easily.  The subsequent few sections should follow a similar pattern, and then I’m going to reach a point where the piece will have to diverge into something completely new; and I’m quite looking forward to getting there. As such, I predict that this will be a productive week…I hope I’m right!

Getting all of that done by noon meant that I felt absolutely no guilt about (finally!) ripping open my copy of Carol Berg’s Daemon Prism when it (finally!) arrived and (finally!) devouring the first chunk of it.  (I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, in case you couldn’t tell).  And thus I lost myself in the bliss of a truly enjoyable book…at least until the prevalent sunbeam on the sofa (and third trimester exhaustion) knocked me out.  Though I’ve only just started it, I’m as thoroughly impressed as ever.  Carol is, as always, an inspiration.

Finally, last night I dreamt that I went to another Algonkian conference.  And while I would certainly go through it attend another one, such  did not make for a restful night. However, perhaps said dreams had something to do with today’s productivity.  Hmmm.