Last weekend, driven by a prearranged date with an editor, I finally buckled down and wrote the 4.5 scenes that I believe my book needed in order to be complete. I had spent many hours during the prior week going over the manuscript for style, consistency and voice, but I had been putting off writing the new scenes because … hard. But, I had a date with an editor looming in my very near future, so write I did.
Here are some highlights from the weekend:
Watching cat videos and reading advice columns can siphon off a lot of time, so I used Freedom to cut myself off from the internet. Best $10 I have spent in a while. That said, the first time I clicked that little “block the internet” button I felt like I was cutting off my windpipe.
I am seeing a reassuring consistency in my thought process from month to month. Several months ago I wrote notes on what I needed to add to the book, especially to one character. I forgot all about those notes, and wrote new notes about the same thing. Found the old notes this weekend, and amazingly, they said almost the same thing. So, either I’m boring, or I have achieved some mastery (maybe both).
Writing fiction is painful. It’s just [redacted] painful.
When you’re in that painful writing space, the world recedes and depression looms large. If you dredge your subconscious for hours, you’re bound to bring up some nasty stuff. It’s actually kind of scary, especially when the internet is turned off and not available to remind you that there are still people out there in the world. Bonus points where it’s a gray day and there are thunderstorms. Very Wuthering Heights.
At 9 AM, midnight can seem very far away. The available writing time stretches out as long as an Olympic Peninsula banana slug, lulling the unsuspecting writer into believing that there is no urgency. Plenty of time. Then, suddenly, it’s 9 PM.
Cats. What can I say? If you’re trying to write with a pen, they want to play with the pen. If you’re typing, they want to be on the keyboard. If you’re working from your printed manuscript, they want to be in between the pages. If you’re concentrating in order to nail down an elusive metaphor, one will choose that moment to stage a feline territorial invasion, the likes of which has not been seen since Carthage. Cats are not conducive to productivity, is my point.
I did not have a fun weekend. Not one bit. A few times I thought “why am I doing this? I don’t need to do it. I might never make money from it. I have already had one career and I’m training for the next one, so I don’t have to worry about making a living. Why am I doing this?” Oh yeah, I do need to do it – not for money, but for love.
And, from the random file: what did carpet beetles eat before there were carpets?
[…] tell less (but sometimes tell because it was the right thing to do), and long days and nights with nothing but my laptop for company. I learned a lot throughout the process and will apply those lessons when […]