Too much writing syndrome

What’s up with the low blog count?

I am a victim of my own success.

I have been getting up, arranging my life just right (protein shake, vitamin B1, naps, block the internet with Freedom), and settling in to actually work on Pride’s Children.

What does this mean in American money?

With the Net blocked, all the energy which used to be dissipated in reading, sometimes commenting on, other people’s blogs (thanks, guys, for the wealth of information our there), gets directed:

First, to my Chapter 14 Resistance file: in which I write why I couldn’t possibly write today about anything connected with PC. At some point I get bored by my own whining about why I can’t do anything today, the brain starts to kick in, the words try to break out, and I’m ready to switch.

Then, to the Chapter 14 Knowledge file: a recommendation of Rachel Aaron in her 2000 to 10,000 book, in which she discusses methods to increase her writing speed. The Knowledge part means spending a few minutes asking yourself what has to go in this scene, and digging into the why, and general meanderings around the actual contents for the scene. This file is currently at 22,000 words – I talk a lot to myself.

Next I spend a bit of time in the Chapter 14 Enthusiasm file, the one Rachel suggests for getting yourself revved up about why you’ve been waiting since Day One to write just this very scene. I like the Enthusiasm file. It makes me happy. And yes, I usually remember why I put this scene in the book, and get all squiggly about starting to write in it. If my Enthusiasm is low, it always means I have to Dig Deeper! Because once I dig deep enough, I WANT to write the scene.

Before I can actually tackle the scene, though, I load up the Scene file (today’s was 14.7 Workspace file) with all the stuff from everywhere that should end up either being used or being rewritten (the old first-draft text). And I fill out my templates that have questions for my brain based on Donald Maass’ The Fire in Fiction. And I check my Left Brain righT template to make sure I haven’t skipped any steps in my ‘process’ that would be useful right about now.

By this point I’m twitching to find a good starting line for the scene, prepared to make a mini-outline of what happens chronologically in the scene, and think about how many beats there are (14.7 has only one), put myself into the right pov (Andrew), and start filling out the outline for the first beat.

And then a miracle occurs!

At which point, magically, Dialogue comes to mind (sometimes even clever or humorous dialogue), and I’m writing.

Sound like a lot of work? It is and it isn’t. Instead of having one giant logjam (WHAT SHALL I WRITE?), I have a lot of little twig-jams (What was Andrew trying to get in this scene? or Should A come before B? or Which of these three lines of dialogue is the best way to say it?), each of which is relatively easy to pull out of the stack and deal with.

My brain is empty

In any case, I have also been prolonging the time I block the internet for: I’m up to 4-5 hours most days (which is broken into 50 min. work sessions, 10 min. breaks for food or a shower or a bit of yoga, and may have 1-2 half hour naps in it if my brain gets overloaded). For someone with CFS, this is unheard of.

And what is happening is that, at the end of those hours, even with taking another nap almost immediately, THERE IS NOTHING LEFT. I kind of stare at the wall for the rest of the day. And the brain fog sometimes lifts (in which case I pay bills), or doesn’t (in which case I get absolutely nothing else done).

This is my typically long-winded way of saying I’m not blogging as much – because I’m actually writing.

This is good, honest

I don’t know if this is a permanent change; the coming months – and their interruptions – will tell me that. I don’t know if I can write more. Or faster. Or get more background work done at another time of day (unlikely – CFS still rules the roost).

But meanwhile I’m the proverbial Happy Clam because the words that matter – the story words – are finding their way out into the world.

Trust me, this is good. Mind you, I’m still glacially slow (no 10K for me so far). But still much better than before, and at least my target 500 words per day.

I’m sure I’ll find something to blog about as I get more settled into the routine, but right now I’m actually exhausted – from writing fiction.

Feel free to add your thoughts.

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