I really, really wanted to go do my dance class tonight. Last week I was felled by the Massive Wall of Tired™, and tonight I have a migraine.
I can't afford to exhaust myself this week. After 40 hours of work, 4 hours of volunteering, and 6 or so hours of dancing, I'm also looking at 16 or so hours of class on Saturday and Sunday. So, I'm going to go to bed early tonight. That means that, once again, I won't be learning the intermediate dance.
In better news, I am accumulating a backlog for Beyond the Pale
in anticipation of being super damned busy over the weekend. I've already got all my installments written up until Sunday, and if I can write one or two more tomorrow, that'll be even better. I'm going to be really busy next weekend as well, so if I can keep my buffer of one or two installments intact, then I'll be good to go.
If I've learned anything from NaNoWriMo and Jan's August Writing Challenge and my own latest attempt to catch up with the serial, it's that writing damned well is a muscle. In September of 2004, when I started writing Beyond the Pale
, 1,500 words was a struggle. Not in terms of finding the words to say what I wanted, but just the sheer amount of time and effort it took to get the words out. After about four months, I fell behind and didn't bother catching up.
Then I decided to do the writing challenge in August. I had thirty-one days, and I was thirty-one weeks behind. I had already been doing a little bit more writing, so I figured it might work. It almost did. It was still a struggle to write, but not as much, and I wrote other things at the same time. I wrote fourteen installments. That was fifteen fewer installments than I had planned, but fourteen more installments than I had started out with.
When November rolled around, suddenly writing wasn't like beating my head against a brick wall anymore. I could sit down and churn out my 1, 667 words a day with very little difficulty. It took me about an hour and a half to write that much. I surprised myself by writing more than that on many days. The writing wasn't always good, but I forced myself to keep going anyway.
Now, it takes me a little over an hour to write an installment of Beyond the Pale
. I treat it exactly like NaNoWriMo: I don't edit, I don't delete unless absolutely necessary. I write it and post it. It's raw, unfinished art, and that's the way I want it for now.
I am very grateful to be living my life the way I am right now. I have many friends who love to write, who are fantastic at it, but who can't because other stuff in their lives has to take priority these days. I am grateful that, while my cats may be pissed off that Mummy isn't giving them her undivided attention all the time, I don't have to watch them 24/7. I am glad that my job right now doesn't take up all my energy so that I can catch up on my writing. I am very, very grateful for what I have right now, even though it's all going to change soon enough.
I stopped writing when I was about twenty-one, and heading for my first breakdown. Before that, I wrote all the time. I wrote hundreds of pages, spent all my time writing, to the point where my mother and I used to have epic battles about whether I was going to leave the damned computer and come have dinner, now!
One day, I'm going to find that Writing Place
that Ceri described again. I know that place. I used to spend a great deal of time there, but not anymore. I feel as though I've been cut off from there for a very long time.
My writing is decent. I know it is. Oftentimes it's more than decent. I just miss being in that blissed-out state in which the story practically writes itself, rather than having to think about every word and every plot twist.
t! wrote today about climbing out of the pit. About how, when you have limited amounts of time to devote to your projects and routine maintenance of your life, you end up falling behind at some point, and the catch-up game is all about clawing your way out of the giant hole in the ground.
Actually, go read it here
and then come back. Really, if you haven't been reading the_exclamation
up until now, well, now's a good time to start. Go! Shoo! Come back when you've read it.
Right now I'm climbing out of one pit. I've still got a number of others that need climbing, but I figure one pit at a time. When February is over, I'll only be twelve installments behind. I'm tempted to keep going, but we'll see how much energy I have left by then.
In other words, I am cautiously optimistic right now.