My! What big hands you have! All the better to write with.

Now let me think. Today I woke up and sat in bed listening to the phone ringing, and thinking it was my alarm clock (I was half asleep people, give me a break). Then it stopped, and I was super happy, and I went back to sleep. Then it happened again three times in a row, and I finally realized that someone was calling us. Sure took me long enough. After that I wrote a thousand words. Then I cleaned up a small present left by my dog. Then I clicked the little button marked "new post" which I haven't gone near for a while now.

But wait! Did I mention that I wrote a thousand words? Yes. Yes I did. That puts me at thirty thousand words in Second Drafts (or 30000, but that doesn't look as much). YAY??? Well hey! I am nowhere near being even close to being done! Why am I cheering? I have no idea. Somehow each time I actually meet my goals on or before schedule, is a little victory for me, that makes me ridiculously happy. Sometimes its "YAY I WROTE TEN THOUSAND WORDS" and sometimes its "YAY, I FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO WORD THIS SENTENCE" said with the same amount of enthusiasm. Because anything is everything compared to nothing. I have no idea what that means, I just like the way it sounds. 

Over the years, I have tried a lot of different things in an attempt to make myself write steadily. Its been an interesting journey, exploring all of the strange little tips and tricks I got from my fellow writers. But in the end, the plan that is working the best, is my own invention. Not that I don't think those tips helped. They allowed me to see what sort of things worked, and what sort of things didn't. Which left me able to formulate my own plan. 

I discovered almost at once that the "write when you feel like it" plan doesn't work terribly well. Then I tried another friends plan of "spend X amount of time each day on your book" but that left me staring at my notebook or my computer screen, waiting for the timer to ring, and not doing anything. 
So then I heard about the 'write at least a thousand words a day' method. And that seemed to be working really well. I wrote twenty thousand words in a month, what with a few sick days, early days, and Sundays getting in the way of the 1000 words.

Of course, it was the next month that I realized how much I hated first drafts, and how totally wrong they were. A friend made me finish them, and I did it very badly and very sullenly, just to get it out of the way. Then I slowly chugged along through Second Drafts, and wound up with severe writers block at thirteen thousand words. 

With the wonderfully annoying nagging of my dear twin, I was back on my feet again before three weeks were out, and I was ready to start writing again. 

But there was a problem, my old method of 1000 words on the page before bed, was not working. Nor did another friends idea of a chapter a day. 
So I made my own plan. And I have now reached thirty thousand words on that plan. 

Basically, I wake up in the morning, and starve myself until I have written a thousand words. They have to be finished before I can even dream of the internet or email or anything like that. They have to be written before I can eat breakfast. 

Then, I made the one little alteration that has helped me most. Not only must I write 1000 words, I am limited to 1000 words. Even if I end up having to stop in the middle of a sentence, I must write approximately 1000 words, no more and no less. 

This means that I usually stop in the middle of a sentence, so when I wake up the next morning, I know exactly what I want to write, and I am eager to do it. Not be 'allowed' to write all day, has made it seem more of a privilege than a chore, and has helped beautifully. Since I started on that plan, I have not missed a single day. One day, I did do other things before I wrote, because I had a friend staying the night, but I did get them written. 

The nice thing is that most of my friends are writers, so at my little sleepover shindig, when I told them that I had to write before I could go downstairs to eat, they understood, and ate without me. 
The next day was the one where I did other things first, but I still got my word count in for the day. Its quite nice. It works very well for me. And a friend of mine has made a few changes to it so that it will fit her own life, but has found success with the general idea of making writing a privilege, and giving yourself incentive to finish by denying yourself something you love until you are done. 

So that is my very long and rambling update on my writing life. Soon I will be taking a two week vacation from this plan and from everything else. Though I will bring my notebooks with me and write as well as I can, I will be getting up early in the morning to eat and then go climb mountains, so I can't very well continue as I have been. Coincidentally, the parts that I will be writing while camping in a tent in the mountains for two weeks, are the parts where Nefru and Co. are camped out in the desert. Which is mostly the reason I am trying to convince my dad to spend at least half of our time camping in the desert, just so that I can have that surrounding me while I write.

Last year we spent more than half our time in Utah, but I was not on second drafts then, so I was not able to properly use that to my advantage. I have detailed memories of course, but that's not the same thing. Actually, if you must know, I spent that entire trip writing about an alien invasion, because I was so sick of Pendant First Drafts. 

We leave on August 1st, and its very exciting. I am almost looking forward to sitting in a car for twelve hours. Almost. I usually spend the first two hours wishing I hadn't come and wanting to be back at home. Then as the parts of Kansas that are super familiar go away, so does my desire to stay here. At that point, I try to sleep and wake up every few hours to say "are we across the border yet?" Then, once we are across the border, I wake up completely and the party begins as we drive through Eastern Colorado (hint, it looks exactly like Western Kansas, only flatter and with more sunflowers. Ironic isn't it?) and try to be the first to spot the mountains. Which is rather difficult since I am in the back of the car, but I try. Once we reach the mountains, we are finally THERE, and its remember this, remember that. We drive through our familiar stomping grounds, then set off for a campsite that we haven't been to before, and set up our very first camp of the trip. 

Last year, we sort of lost our way in Utah, and ended up parking on an obscure trail head of sorts, right above a highway. We slept for a while in the car, but then my dad and one of my brothers and I hiked up to the top of a ridge, in the freezing cold morning and watched the sun rise. It looked completely fake. Almost like a cartoon sunrise. All the colors were pretty much solid, and very clean cut. Completely fake, except that it was real.

But enough about all of that totally irrelevant stuff. I was going to post some snippets, but I think that this post has gone on plenty long enough. 

Toodle-pip!
May your vacations seem boring by comparison. 
Just kidding.
Not.
Maybe.
I don't know.
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