It’s been a busy morning, so I decided rather than breaking my flow, to write this when a natural window appeared. I’ve been listening to Writing Great Fiction as part of ‘The Great Courses’. I do not know why I didn’t buy this audiobook sooner. I love learning, I love writing, and my love of combining the two is exponential. Already I have pages of notes on what I need to work on, including giving my dialogue more emotional oomph.
There are times I worry that by having my strict-ish schedule, I lose time for this kind of CPD and reflection. As I now have an approach of “3-4 new novels a year”, I am busy with a story at any given time. I should stress, that is the way I want to have it. I used to have yawning chasms between projects that stretched to years at a time at my worst. That made the first decade of my writing ‘career’ miserable, and I never want to go back. I do think I needed that slow approach. I tried all other avenues to peace, and as gruelling as it can be, writing alone works.
But I do need to learn more. I want to be more than a successful writer. I don’t actually care if I succeed in financial terms or not. I want to be a great writer, the kind that inspires people to do more, be more, that helps people in their darkest moments and pushes them to new heights. If I want to achieve that, I need to make sure I’m using my addiction to lifelong learning to its full effect. I’m closer than I’ve ever been, and so far from that goal that it may as well be like the expanding universe, getting further out of reach. But I’ll never reach it or come close to it if I don’t both practice and study.
Bringing things back down to Earth a bit, I am hoping that when I get home tonight a small delivery will have arrived. If it has, I would like to go to the shop, but even as that urge empowers me I can’t escape that – even on 9 hours sleep – I’m shattered. I’m doing better now I’ve worked coffee back in as a habit once more, but I’m still under this strange affliction. I have the sense of unseen leeches pulling the lifeforce out of me, even as my mind remains oblivious. I’m feeling good, cheery, but as if I am going to keel over at any moment. And, well, I’m sick of it. I’ve given up getting any medical appraisal for it, but I have to figure out something.
Paragraph five seems as good as any time on this writing blog to talk about my here-and-now writing. TSS if I write today will have chained 20 days, and close to 22,000 words in the course of that streak. This is great news, and a bit of a concern in the same breath. When I make long chains like this, the crashes are, it seems a lot of the time, dire. I end up ill – please not again – or so tired I slip into late night 1K, a vicious cycle. So what I have the feeling I should do, is take a break and do a fun aside for a day, or even two. That wouldn’t cause any problems on my current schedule.
Except, one. It’s not so much a ‘problem’ as a missed oppotunity. When I was sketching this out, I moved my goalposts to New Years from December 13th. Thank god I did so given the date of the GE is the day before now. I moved it before the migraine-chest-infection-malestrom hit, and lost a week and a half. By the time I finished hate-poetry about migraines, I had about a week too few days, and that assumed I’d write each day. So I said to myself ‘stop on New Years, resume after WHT has a typed draft’. Simple right?
Ah temptation you vile mistress of my demise, you yet again sully my creative endeavours. Because, of course, I proceeded to not drop a day between that time, and today. So in other words, if I don’t drop a day, I could finish TSS by New Years. I know I’ve moaned about this before on here but it is a contentuous issue for me. If I drop a day, this all becomes immaterial, as I am not repeating 1K+ again. But until that point, is it right to aim for that goal? I have not strained myself to keep this streak going yet, so I guess that will mark the real decision.
If I keep writing this I could go on for hours weighing what to do when that moment comes. I have already written so much here, that my full word count for today will be over 2,000 words, and I have work to do. So for now I’m going to put it out of mind, go with the flow, and try to ignore the issue until it becomes an issue. Right now to be fair to this streak, it’s not a bad thing.