Sunday, February 2, 2014

Groundhog's Day

I think I need to be more stringent about writing every day.

When I actually do sit down to write, my natural urge is to just blast out thousands of words, until I'm an exhausted shell of a man, a grinning skeleton with burning fingers surrounded by drifts of paper and empty coffee mugs. This would be bad. I think the sweet spot for me is about two or three thousand words in one go. Any less than that and I have a hard time keeping narrative focus. Any more than that and I drain the well. Also bad.

You have to find your balance. Ideally, you should always step away from the day's session feeling like you have a little left in you--that seed will germinate overnight and flower. When you come back to it, you'll be ready and enthusiastic. If you push things, go too far, you'll hurt yourself, get burnt out or write a lot of things you'll have to rewrite later on, because it's crap.

Write too little and nothing gets done. You get discouraged, feel that you're not making any progress. Worse, you take so long you keep changing direction because the writer that you are now is not the writer you'll be in six months. Not necessarily better, just different.

Anyhow, I tend to waste too much time in the morning before work reading news. I usually have an hour or so I spend sipping coffee and reading. On the days that I blog I have no problem blogging--I need to harness the power of my need to pontificate towards actually doing something productive with my pre-work morning time. So, here's a mini-resolution: stop dicking around on the internet every morning and write something instead. News-reading is useful, yes, but a fairly empty expenditure of time.

Mostly I just want to get through this damn book so I can get on to my next book. It's kind of a terrible thing to think, like you're a little tired of raising this baby and want to get on with raising the next, but it's a true thing. I'll probably think differently in a day or two. It helps that I'm actually in new parts of the story now and not having to rewrite a whole lot of stuff I've previously written.

No comments:

Post a Comment