Taking the Long View

Sunday and I’m taking another shot at writing. I ended up bowing out after half an hour yesterday. It didn’t help that I was falling asleep as I was writing yesterday’s entry…I ended up going to lie down for a bit and fell asleep for a couple of hours. I figured that was just a sign that it was time to take a day off; after all, I’ve topped out at six days a week doing this, and while I’m trying to stretch myself out to writing 20 hours a week, I’m already approaching my personal record of 14 hours a week. I figure if I can just pass last week’s record, I can be happy with what I’ve done.

I’ve been surprised to find that it’s easy to fit in 10 hours of writing, but it seems like every hour after that becomes more and more difficult. I guess that tells me just how much wiggle time there is in my regular schedule. I do the lions’ share of my writing during the evening anyway, so that doesn’t help – there are only so many evening hours during the week. Anyway, the key is to keep writing.

Tried out Ommwriter yesterday, and while it was okay, I found an application called FreeWrite that I’m trying out today – it’s even better because you can set personal goals when you sit down or on a daily basis, and it will alert you once you’ve met the goal. It also keeps real-time statistics that you can access when you want to, yet keeps things immersive. Right now, for instance, I am writing in something that looks like a journal, and will transfer it over to the wordpress template.

I’m going to try out a few more of these applications and once I’ve settled on one, will write up some reviews with lots of yummy screenshots.

Oh, another possibility for the difficulty writing yesterday occurred to me. I was trying to force a scene into something that it didn’t want to be. I had decided that three of the characters were going to be attacked by someone, but that’s not what the characters really called for in the scene. I had a brainstorm this morning that told me where the story goes from here, and how to fit a few of the old puzzle pieces into a new configuration.

This complete retooling of the novel is quite educational. So much of it is taking old elements and blowing those up into a larger portion of the overall story while removing other old elements or repurposing them into something entirely new. The whole process is somewhat alchemical, and I think of how often we might do this with our own goals in life – how often do we change something that might have been a long-term goal into something related? Maybe we change career direction yet bring in some elements of what we had in an old career. I think the whole process is a microcosm of life, and that old cliche about life being what happens while we’re making plans occurs to me.

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