Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'm a Slacker

I had great plans this week to write close to 15,000 on my new novel.  I'm on a business trip and have little to do at night besides pour forth my brilliance onto the page so that I can finish this one before Christmas.  I was going to do 6,000 on the plane and first day of my trip, 2,000 more the next two days, and 5,000 on the plane ride back.  Unfortunately, it hasn't turned out that way.

Not even close.

Yes, I got through 2,000 words that first day, including 1,000 on the first leg of my flight and another 1,000 in the Atlanta airport.  However, I just wasn't feeling it.  And when I got to the hotel, I was too wiped out to write anything good, and I knew it.

There are several factors in this, this first of which was the plane ride itself.  It was an overnight flight from Hawaii, and I wanted to get a little bit of sleep that night.  Of course, by the time I got to Atlanta, my uncomfortable fits of sleep in an upright position left me in no position, intellectually, to write.

The second was what happened Tuesday.  I don't know if you noticed or not, but we had an election.  Those who know me on a personal level know I'm a political junkie, so I spent my non-business time that day watching every news network out there.  For reasons I've gone into previously, I don't want to go into which side I supported, but I watched coverage all night and didn't get into bed until 2:30am.

Then I went to finish my business trip on Wednesday, and although I had grandiose plans to do a lot of writing that day, I ended up surfing around of Facebook when I should have been working.  By the time that was done, Supernatural was on, and I couldn't miss my favorite show.  I'm hoping to get a lot done on the trip back to Hawaii - I'm writing this post before I depart - so we'll see what happens.

So what does that mean for me?  Should I commence self-flogging coupled with the occasional tire iron to the head?  How does one handle such monumental failure?

Easy - I let it go.

Writing, while my hoped for eventual profession, is still fun at this stage, and if it gets un-fun, it won't continue.  Besides which, I still think I can finish this novel before Christmas, and if I don't, I'll finish it when I do.

This break has also reinforced two previous lessons.  The first is that I have to stop outrunning my outline.  I get to the end of my thoughts, and I think I can wing it for a few thousand words.  WRONG!  While not overly detailed, my outline helps steer me through the rough waters of when I can't think of what should come next.  It also gives me detail that I might have thought was awesome at the time but can't remember it in the heat of the writing moment.  Second, writing is very much like going to the gym every day - the more you skip, the easier it gets to skip.  I have to get back into my habit so that I stay on target.

Enough recriminations about this.  Suffice to say that while my daughter is doing school this holiday weekend on Friday and Monday, I'll get back to where I need to be.  Besides, my next business trip is the week after Thanksgiving, and I'm sure I'll make it all up at that time.  ;-)

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