Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 177

I have been writing my novel for almost 6 months.  Wow.  That feels both short and long at at the same time.  An accomplishment in time, but a failure in work produced.

Today, I want to write to support public libraries.  I'm not on a soap box, but never have I written so much in one week on this novel as I have a week ago.

After Labor Day, I was determined not to spend countless hours in my room goofing off.  My younger sisters had all returned to school at that point and the house is dead quiet.  A bad quiet.  My house is so often full of noise that it has become a normal auditory backdrop, and when absent, I cannot concentrate.

So, I go to the library. Where it is quieter than my house.

I woke up around 10:00am every day (a stark contrast to noon) and drove to the library and wrote until I was hungry for lunch.  I was usually there until 12:30pm.  I was able to concentrate.

It was such a blessing!  I sat in the quiet section at one of the tables, not even in one of the cubbies where you can block yourself out, but at a table, facing the thick tome-like reference books on American History and The History of Drama, and wrote.  I wrote about 5 pages a day, on average, for four days.  I normally write that much in three weeks.


The writing wasn't horrible either.  Even better.

The trick to this was that I practiced my professor's dutiful advice.  Ron Carlson would always say, "Stop writing at a place where you know you can start again."  I have the habit of stopping at the end of a scene or the chapter.  It makes me feel like I have accomplished something.  That week, I stopped writing in the middle of conversations.  I would reach the end of the scene, feel like it was a good place to stop, and tell myself to write one more page.  Then, I would be stuck in the middle of the next scene.  I would stop, come back the next morning, and feel like I was literally "picking up from where I left off."  Amazing.  Funny how simple the advice and how big the effects.

This past week, I was offered a temporary "full-time" position with temporary days off, and I had no time to write.  Such a stark contrast.  I was itching to write all this past week, but stupid 2 hour commutes per day and 8 1/2 hours at work and three scheduled dinner dates and an iTouch with addicting word games led to no productivity.

My fault.

I almost wish I didn't have a job again.  Then I could write.