Panic=productivity. And good thing, too.

I’m taking a short break from the writing at the moment while I try to sort out the perspective for the next section. I’m hoping that the inspiration for it will come to me in some sort of tidal wave-esque type of rush in the next 15 minutes or so, so that I can make some productive use out of the rest of my day. What’s more likely, however, is that I will spend the rest of the afternoon getting annoyed about not being able to make a decision and dithering about on facebook and the like.

Regardless of that, I’m pleased to say that the reason I haven’t been updating at all recently is because I’ve been using every spare second I can find to work on the manuscript. I’m happy to see that I still have that magical panic=productivity talent that I made use of so often in school. The thought that I might not get this anywhere near done before I become some sort of sleep-deprived (loving, maternal) robot is freaking me out.  And now I can report that the end is, in fact, in sight.  The MS is going to be longer than I’d hoped…at the moment it sits at 120K and I still have one major section plus one side story to complete.  So yeah, I’m probably looking at 150.  Sigh. Looks like once I come back into the land of the living it’s going to be the land-of-the-living-as-an-editor.

As a side note, I’ve also realized that I’m going to have to rewrite a lot of the side-story. I’d pulled most of that directly out of an old manuscript but now that major character’s motivation has changed and, with it, most of his story.  Ah well, that’s actually the least of my concerns.

A few things I’ve determined during this blog hiatus:  First is that I have to take breaks, albeit short ones, on my writing days.  I can’t just sit and write for eight hours, as delightful as that sounds. Maybe if I had everything planned out to a T and knew exactly what everyone was going to say and do before they did it. Maybe. (I seem to recall having occasional days like that in the past). But now, even a 15 minute break to go change over the laundry and do some folding can make a world of difference.  I can wander off thinking that I won’t be able to get back to my writing for a week and suddenly the path for the next section will just appear before my eyes. Allowing myself those little breaks is part of why I’ve been able to do accomplish so much recently.

I’m also forcing myself off of things like facebook while I write. I give myself an hour – write from, say 9-10 and then at 10 allow myself 10 minutes online.  That usually lets me catch up things like email and FB and I’m not checking it every 30 seconds. Unfortunately I’ve not been following all of my blogs as much as I’d like because of this policy, but maybe I should try catching those up in the evenings…generally by then I’m too tired to write, even if it hasn’t been a ‘writing day’.

Writing class starts up again on Monday and while I’m very excited about this, I’m also going in more apprehensive than usual. Probably because I was one of the people selected to give a 3K section to the class last week that they are all going to critique for me on Monday. I agonized over what to send and I’m happy with what I did send, but it still makes me cringe.  Hey, it can’t be any worse than the conference, right?  Right?

To add to that, I also discovered that I’m on the list for “read a short piece to the class on the spot for critique” for the following week! I understand why he’s put me in the first two weeks (as I could disappear at any moment to go have a baby) but I’m still pretty stressed out about it all.  Oh, and I’m going to finish writing the manuscript over the course of these next few weeks as well.  Okay, then, I’m sure I’ll have time for that. Especially with Kid 1 home with me for an entire week of that during March break.

On that note, I guess it’s time to go hang up some laundry and see if the next section will work itself out for me while I do so.

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…