a marathon of words

i’ve never been a regular blogger. i can’t maintain any sort of schedule for it-inspiration comes when it wants to, and i don’t sweat it if it doesn’t. sometimes i’ll get two, three, even four posts up in a seven day period. some times i’ll be lucky if i end up with one. so that i’m about to apologize for the lack of posts may be a bit surprising.

let me clarify: i’m apologizing for lack of future posts.

partly it’s because there hasn’t been a lot to happening to spark anything of interest in me. the debt ceiling debacle still looms, we’re still bombing the shit out of the taliban, politicians are still screwing up and blaming everyone other than themselves, and people still set out to swindle, maim, and kill others. i stopped watching the news for the most part, because it was depressing and not all that informative. i haven’t been to the movies since the festival ended, but not for lack of trying. i’m still reading voraciously, still cycling through my veritable plethora of 90’s music, and still working for the man.

the real reason appears to be my newest work in progress.

i started a new writing project some months ago, picking at it every once in a while to give myself a break from editing vanishing. then about two weeks ago, i started writing out scenes, or parts of scenes, on a new blog (sorry, it’s set to private; since nothing’s in order, it wouldn’t make any sense to anyone). having the blog made it easier to keep track of ideas. if i was at work, i’d just work on it for a few minutes at a time, then save it and come back to it later. or not.

something changed last week, and i’m not entirely certain what it was.

i took last friday off. i’d forgotten how glorious it feels to take a day off for no reason. i’d intended to spend the day sitting around on my ass reading, maybe go to the gym, definitely hit up the nordstrom sale and a few bookstores (i wanted to pick up the remaining books in a series i’d already read but was missing the first few volumes). the day before, i’d started working out another scene on my lunch break, then came home, went to the gym, then worked on it a little more.

by the time the weekend was over, i’d written close to 10,000 words. my eyes ached, my head felt a little hollow, my limbs felt a little stiff, and i’d pretty much ignored everything for three days. oh, i did get my shopping in, just like i’d planned. and i managed to finish two library books that were due. but i also had several chapters and the outline for two of the three books (it’s a trilogy) finished. i followed that up with another 5000 words on monday, and then every day since then it’s been between 2000 to 4000 words.

mentally, i’m getting worn out. but this thing’s got me by the throat, and it’s sort of exciting. writing vanishing was like pulling teeth most of the time. i figure it has to do with the language. yes, they’re both written in english, but if you’ve ever paid attention to the differences between an award winning book from someone like ann patchett versus a mass market best seller from james patterson, you’d get what i’m talking about. writing something that can pass as snooty, nose in the air literature calls for a dense story, layered with description upon description and the occasional sentence so convoluted that it ends up taking you twice as long to read a page than you’d think it would is trying at best and exhausting at its worst. it isn’t something that just pours out like some of the simplistic drivel you’d come across in beach house or i, alex cross.

and here i have just unintentionally insulted myself, because what i’m working on now could probably, and may even, be simplistic drivel. it’s written in first person, and it’s targeted at a specific audience (hooray genre fiction!). it will never be called literature, which is fine with me. it’s fun to write, for the most part, although also slightly embarrassing at times (the thought of passing this project off to my mother, my sister, or even one of my friends, knowing that they’ll be reading some, ahem, love scenes is a little cringe inducing).

but the rate at which the story is racing along means that the first draft of the first book may be finished in a matter of weeks (current completed chapter count: 11. out of 22, but four of those chapters are too short and need to be rewritten). which if i pause too long and think about it, it stuns me and i fumble and want to panic because that means i’m one third of the way done with the project and that much closer to having to edit it and then pass it around and wait for my ears to turn red while everyone reads the stuff i’ve written. it makes me second guess myself: what did i leave out? is it long enough? is it too long? is it even any good?

but i’m trying to remind myself i’m not quite at the stage where i can start panicking. i have to finish the damn thing first. i’ll hopefully have some encouragement and support in climbing this mountain i’ve created. and i’m anticipating a slow down in production soon; i need to take some time to research pagan and wiccan rituals and maybe some different martial arts styles. the BF reminds me every night not to burn myself out, to stop after an hour (which i’ve only managed once so far this week). but my main character is impatient and wants me to hurry up and finish already-she knows how the story ends, and wants everyone else to know it, too.

*image via davidlouisedelman.com


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