That’s right, I am.
I got my word quota done tonight by 9 p.m. 9! Not 10, not 10:30 or even 11, but 9! I’ve only been home since 6:30 and had to get some dinner in there. 9. So fabulous.
And you know what’s even better? I did almost all of it while walking on the treadmill. Treaddesks are definitely way to go. I got in my exercise and my words.
But the point of this blog post is to remind me (and any of you who care to be reminded) that it’s important to take these moments of satisfaction and suck them bone f*cking dry.
As writer’s we drive ourselves crazy, are always faced with that ‘but there’s x more still to do’, never actually done working feeling. Like being in University all over again when there was always another paper, another exam, another chapter to read waiting for your attention.
When these moments of satisfaction happen they have to be grabbed and savoured. I want to crawl into it and wrap myself in it, roll around and coat myself in it, drink it until heady with it.
And how did I spend my extra time? Why writing about it, of course!
I finished (finally) reading Bob Mayer‘s the Writer’s Toolkit on Monday night. Yes, I was partially avoiding my current WIP due to the aggravation that results from spending too much time with only one thing for too long. Rather like being cooped up in a small white room with one other person for days on end. Sometimes you can get a bit testy with the other person. I was testy with my novel.
So I finished reading the Toolkit’s final chapters which focused more on submissions, the next and terrifying step of the publishing process that I must face. And did it help me get ready for the publishing side?
But what it really did was give me even better insight into ways to tighten up the ending of my book and a few other ‘flavor’ changes to make to the story. Those changes that are relatively small (no big plot changes) but that add depth or intrigue or emotion to the story.
<bangs head on desk>
Not that these ideas aren’t great, they are! But that means going back through again. I’m caught between the desire to finish!!!! and the need to take a break.
This past week would appear to be a break as I did not finish my editing as intended. But don’t let appearances fool you! The story, Broken Blessings is the title btw, has been simmering on the burner (not even the back burner) as it works on telling me what it needs. Or vice versa.
There is definitely a frustration to the feeling that every time I feel that I’m getting close to done, that some new realization comes to the fore and I’m back into the editing trenches.
When I finished actually writing the novel (first draft), there was this toe-to-hair-tingling sense of achievement. Does that ever happen with editing?
I hope to find out. And soon. But not as soon as I’d originally thought. Because in the end, I want to be selling the best story possible.
Back to the land of the red pen I go. Tomorrow. Tonight I think I’ll just relax and try not to think about it at all. A night off. Sounds good, don’t you think?
I am trying to remind myself that downtime is important, too.
Sometimes I get so focussed on showing up to write that I start feeling what I did at the end of my bachelor’s degree: a freaked out need for freedom.
In university, the only true free time was during the break between semesters. Otherwise there was always something you should be doing: reading, writing, studying, completing a project and on and on.
Sometimes I get to feeling that way about writing.
That I should be writing before anything else. Most of the time I encourage this feeling. It helps to get me in front of the computer and working my heart out.
But there are times when that intensity backfires, when it becomes a burden. And that’s when I need to give myself permission to relax. That would be the trick of it. Honestly giving myself permission to “waste time”. (Don’t I realize I could be writing?)
Tonight, I am enjoying some downtime. Or trying to.