Today was one of those days where I couldn’t get anything written. I had a particularly intense day that had me fighting off a panic attack by 2. This is, of course, the sort of thing that happens when you’ve got 1 month to complete 1.5 months worth of work. Sigh. I’m tired. As a result, I really didn’t have the mental energy to solve my chapter 3 problem AND put it into prose that is at least an approximation of ‘not suck’. All that said, I had a good run today, and while I wheeled around the small gym track some forty times, I managed to come up with something like a solution. There are a few sticky details to work out, but once I actually sit down and put myself into the main character’s shoes in the scene, I should be able to see exactly how he manages to squeeze out of it. It’ll be difficult, for him, but I think it should be. So, tomorrow, after I’ve thought about it for a while, I’ll sit down and make it happen. For now though, I think I’m going to check out a nip of single-malt, and get some sleep. Tomorrow is likely to be just as intense as today.
The limited number of hours I get in the day to spend writing usually get tacked on the end, somewhere between 8 and 10. Which is fine, except when I get on a roll. Then, after I’m cajoled into retiring to bed with my laptop. I find myself in one of two places. The first place is where I’m just too tired to think. This is the where I am most often. Nothing for it, can’t be creative when I can’t keep my eyes open. The other thing that happens is I gain the kind of focus usually reserved for those college students cramming for an exam or putting the finishing touches on (actually doing) a project. I think about it as problem solver brain (more accurately known as being manic). I get so focused on solving a problem, I can’t rest until it’s done or I have a solution in mind that will work – I just can’t stop thinking about it.
Even though it makes for some rushed mornings and tired days, it’s this sort of manic focus that has gotten me as far as I have. No matter what is going on in my life, and there have been times when I’ve just not even been able to think about writing for weeks or months, I keep coming back to my story, and writing in general. I don’t know if this is one of the things that helps to make a good writer, but this sort of persistence is certainly going to help cross the finish line.
Why do I waste precious writing time on this blog instead of writing? Well, first off, I’m procrastinating. It’s one of the things I do when I’m a bit distracted and also have to solve a particularly challenging problem. Another part of it is the rubber-ducking aspect of it. When I blog about a particular issue I’m trying to sort out, I’m forcing myself to collect all of my thoughts on an issue and write them down in a setting where scribbling half-assed notes isn’t acceptable. In doing this, the solutions I’m making for myself have to be justified, and clearly thought through. It might be, I come up with very wrong solutions, but it’s better than what I had been doing. The last thing I feel like I’m accomplishing is writing practice. It might not be creative, nor does it help with the larger writing issues of plot, setting and characters or anything, but putting thoughts down in a blog is a way for me to try and improve the basic mechanics of my writing.