Breakthroughs @ 10:30pm

25 Jul

Current Status: Wide awake

Food Consumed: Bad cheese pizza, too many Caramello Koalas

On The iPod: 10 Billion Years; Jonathan Boulet

Word Count: 2,000+ (Too focused to properly count)

Well. What a day of rollercoaster writing!

I started the morning too exhausted to contemplate writing. I ate a heap of sugar (in the form of caramel fudge and caramel-filled chocolate), downed a packet of protein in chip form and then set up my laptop to four hours of untouchable backup, which meant I had no choice but to either a) clean b) cook c) write longhand or d) do absolutely jack shit.

I chose the write longhand option (though the jack shit option was pretty appealing!) and it was one of the most painful writing sessions I’ve had in a while. Every word I put down on that paper I loathed. With a passion. I literally stopped and looked at every single word as they were written and I said to myself: “This is utter crap, what the heck are you doing?!”

But I didn’t give up. I set myself a goal of 1,000 words. I knew with the mood I was in that I wouldn’t make it, and in the end I only managed 3 or 4 pages full of mixed scenes that were really all over the shop – some were chronological with where I’d last left off, while others slotted in earlier in the novel and one slotted in later on in the piece. I wasn’t happy with any of it – and that’s the understatement of the century right there! But I didn’t give up.

After writing those pages I was so disheartened with my novel that all I wanted to do was to quit and never look at it again. I tried something new. I plotted. I tried to start a new first page for a new plot idea but that didn’t work, either. I’m too invested in the characters I have with “Times of Bright.” I can’t handle any new ones right now. I’m not ready to give up the old characters. I stopped the new plotting and I waited. I watched fishing on television (as therapeutic as I can get without actually getting out on the water and doing it for myself, which unfortunately wasn’t an option for me today). I listened to music and I daydreamed.

Finally, at 10:30pm, a breakthrough!

I’ve just typed up all my longhand from today, and it’s actually not as bad as I first thought. Granted, it always seems to be easier to make the words sound “right” when I type them up rather than when I write them out by hand. Maybe that has something to do with my hands not being able to keep up with my brain when I’m hand-writing, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve fixed up a couple of the major issues I had today, and while I know that what I’ve just added to the novel is far from perfect, I don’t hate it and I’m not so worried about it.

As the lovely Kylie Ladd said to me: “You can’t edit a blank page!”

What do you think the relationship is between longhand/typing and decent words?

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4 Responses to “Breakthroughs @ 10:30pm”

  1. Lila 26/07/2010 at 4:28 am #

    Yay! I love writing breakthroughs! I never write longhand, simply because I have 135+ WPM on the computer and writing longhand is extra-painful for me. I’ve been struggling with some writer’s block lately and I actually had a similar experience. I reread over a previous chapter that I’d written about 3 weeks ago (just long enough to where I couldn’t really remember it that well…) and I fell completely in love with my characters & plotline again. Sometimes you just need to take a step back so you can see your work for what it really is – awesome! 🙂

    • thewritingant 28/07/2010 at 8:16 am #

      I love it when that happens. It’s such a great feeling to fall back in love with your characters and your writing. Certainly a feeling of accomplishment. I’m glad you’re back in love with your plot again – writing slumps are just the worst!

  2. Carol Ann Hoel 26/07/2010 at 5:42 am #

    It is such a pleasure to read about the experiences of other people who write. I actually understand because I go through the same valleys and climb the same mountains. Does that make me a writer? I hope something does. Thank you for sharing.

    • thewritingant 28/07/2010 at 8:17 am #

      Thank you for your comment, Carol. I love the internet for bringing me closer to other writers who are going through the same things as I am. Writing is such a lonely profession, so it’s great to find out that the highs and lows of writing are all part of the journey, and that no matter how alone we feel we really aren’t.

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