This has been a good week, writing wise. I’ve managed to get over 22,000 words down on the first draft of a new novel, working title “White Noise.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve put in good writing days like this lately and I missed it. Not that what I was doing wasn’t important, and all that — but I tell you, that white hot writing place where I don’t hear the phone, don’t remember that there is laundry, come up for air wondering why my neck feels stiff before realizing that I’ve been writing, steadily, for three hours without moving, that is the sweet spot, for me.
I CAN write the other way. Put in a day doing something else, then write 1000 or 1500 or (if time really doesn’t permit) 500 words, then put it away, and come back to it the next time I have a few minutes alone. But I don’t like it. Not as much as this.
This type of high velocity writing drains my brain so that at the end of the day, I have nothing left. My husband talks to me, and I know I’m staring at him like he’s suddenly speaking a foreign language I didn’t even know he knew, but I can’t seem to stop. I just stare, hoping his words will finally start making a little bit of sense in my poor fevered brain. He’s actually getting a little better about it now. Just shrugs, and says things like “I’ll try again later,” or “You’re not going to permanently damage yourself, are you?”
No honey. It’s not permanent. I promise. I’ll just sit over in the corner, drooling and giggling to myself, but only for a little while longer. And the writing went wonderfully, by the way.
This past couple of years haven’t given me much time to do high velocity writing. I’ve been caught up in lots of other stuff. Some of it was wonderful (book launches, and going to conventions etc), some of it involved incredibly high learning curves (that would be all the marketing stuff), and some if was just horrible. (I had my fair share of disasters in my personal life recently. ‘Nough said about that.) All of it seemed to come at me at break neck speed, so there was no time to stop, smell the roses, and see how many days in a row I could write 5000 words a day — or more.
But now, I have the time. I put together a schedule for myself, and I’m sticking to it (believe it or not!). I wrote out an outline. (Well, mostly wrote out an outline. I know where 3/4 of this puppy is going, and I THINK I know who done it in the the murder mystery portion of the novel.) Then I warned my people that play time was over, and that I had to get to work.
Most of them bought it, and they’re actually leaving me alone. So, every day I sit down, usually by 9 AM, and write until I can’t write anymore. In the middle somewhere I have lunch and take a walk. (Really. Me. A walk. Every day!) At the end, I eat something more, try to answer my husband’s increasingly tentative questions about how it’s going, and then, sometime later, I go to bed. And that’s all I do. Every day.
And you want to know something? This isn’t work! This is fantastic! This is first draft pour everything on the page stuff, and I love it here.
If I keep going at this pace, I’ll have the first draft of my novel finished in less than 30 days.
Sigh. Then comes rewrites. And that’s a different animal altogether.
But for today, I sing, even as the last of my brains leak out my ears. Because I get to write!