Monday, January 25, 2010

In Which I Write Too Much

I think I hurt my brain.

Yesterday, Sunday, I planned on writing a lot. I had a specific plot point I wanted to get to in the WIP and I was going to write until I reached there. It was ordained.

I woke up early, I put on pants so I could go grocery shopping right after I dropped Twin off for work (her own truck is banged up and caught up in claims) and I got home before 10. Just had to shower, throw the laundry in the washer and then I was good to go. Yes I had to do dishes, but those could wait. I didn't think it would take me all that long to reach the certain point in the WIP. I had done a little outline the night before.

WRONG.

I wrote from about 11:00 to 4:30, which was when I had to stop to go fetch Twin. I logged a bit over 8,000 words which seems like a lot, but on one of my more prolific nano days I logged close to 8,500 and that didn't leave me feeling exhausted or burned out. This only equalled out to about 1600 words an hour. Good. But not great. At least, not great for me who can often do 2K in an hour if the words are flowing and I'm not distracted.

I think the reason that yesterday's expedition in writing hurt so bad (I could barely see straight when I stopped. Except for the dirty dishes. I could see those fine...) is because I had set a goal for myself and was struggling to reach it.

not my exact dirty dishes. but close...



I really, really thought I would be able to reach this plot point in a couple hours. I thought by 1, maybe 2 o'clock I would be done and could do the dishes, write some blog posts and watch some TV.

In fact, I only stopped writing for a few things:


1. when I absolutely had to go to the bathroom
2. when I realized I was starving and needed to eat my lunch

There were a few mild distractions. Brother turned on The Truman Show for about 20 minutes. But I had my headset on and turned the TV off as soon as he left. Same for when he turned on Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Neither of those should have been enough to slow me down.

When it became apparent that the writing was taking longer than I liked, and then later, when I started to think that I might not make my deadline, well I focused solely on getting through as much plot as possible.

It hurt. And I suspect some of the writing I did was forced and not very good (it's a first draft, though, so who cares).

Did I reach the point I was aiming for? Nope. Not even close. My estimate was way off (also I added a new character who just showed up. Surprised? Me too.)

So, here's how my day went - 5 hours straight of writing.
What I have to show for it:

Dirty Dishes
Dirty Laundry
A headache
0 blog posts written (1 now that this one is complete)

But at least I'm 8K farther along on the WIP. 93K is pretty awesome. I hope it'll end around 110 t0 120K so I have a lot of space to cut.

Well, at the very least I ended the night with a great Lifetime Movie: The Pregnancy Pact.


Awesome Sauce

18 comments:

DL Hammons said...

That's one reason why I don't set daily writing goals for myself. I'm one who would force the issue just to hit a word count, and that's not good writing. That's homework!

I understand needing to push yourself to accomplish your goals, but there needs to be a balance. Your creativity should flow out of you, not be forced, and defintely shouldn't give you headaches.

Anne said...

The Pregnancy Pact was awesome. Though it can't really say 'starring Camryn Manheim' because she was in for like, what, 10 minutes?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You did make progress though.
I try not to set daily goals either. I always set aside some time to write, and if it flows, I run with it.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

For me, it seems like when I set goals nothing happens the way it's supposed to. But if I just feel inspired and just start writing, I can produce a lot more.

I'm with DL, you can't really force creativity but you can force progress and you made progress. If it's crap progress, you can always fix it later.

You're still like 18,000 times better than I am at progress. That should make you feel better.

And your headache could have been due to sitting at the computer in an awkward position and just tense muscles. When you take a break to pee or eat...STRETCH!

Piedmont Writer said...

The week after I made my New Year's resolutions I didn't write anything, and then by Saturday I sat at the computer for 11 hours straight. I ended up with 14K. It was one of those days I couldn't stop writing unti lI had everything out of me. I don't set goals for myself, well, I did on New Year's but I ignore that. I have to be in the "mood" to write and when I am, I can write for days. And believe me, those dishes you posted are nothing like what I have upstairs right now.

Nicole Ducleroir said...

I applaud you for setting a goal, and for being okay with not reaching it the way you envisioned, (especially when dealing with the first draft). 8K words is awesome, and I smiled at hearing a new character showed up. I love when that happens! Best of luck with it :))

Teebore said...

I like the cut of your jib, DL.

Oh, Thora Birch, what happened? You were going to be HUGE at one point. Now you're resigned to Lifetime movies...

Seriously, just thinking about your WIP word count emasculates me.

Falen said...

Anne - i thought that too.

Teebore - yeah, but you have a completed novel, so that beats me...
Also, Thora Birch was kind of awesome in this movie, but yeah, what happened to her career?

All - it wasn't even like i had "set a goal" so to speak. I just assumed i'd be able to reach this plot point, and then, when i didn't, it took all the fun out as i tried to reach it.

I think i may have jinxed myself by making the assumption i would reach the plot point...

Dominique said...

8k is pretty impressive, in my opinion. I, at the least, am in awe of you.

Falen said...

Dominique - thanks - i'm trying really hard to be in awe of myself too. I wish i hadn't sullied my accomplishment with my negative nancy attitude. ah well

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

Just admit you're awesome sauce at writing. Ad...mit...it!

Joan Crawford said...

Holy Crap. I must see this movie. I already know I love it.

Stephen Tremp said...

LOL! Been there myself. Its easy to get on a roll and forget just how bad you have to go to the bathroom. Its like, "Wait, just one more paragarph." Repeat process.

Stephen Tremp

Falen said...

Joan - it was even MORE awesome than you can imagine!

Stephen - isn't that ridiculous too? I mean, it takes like 30 seconds to go to the bathroom, but you put it off until it's reached emergency status. I don't know why we do that...

Anne said...

Holy crap! I just realized you now have enough followers that they had to roll onto a 2nd page!

Teebore said...

I know, right? Talk about Ms. Popular.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

I don't know how you have 26 already!!!

Lizard said...

Quit torturing yourself!! This situation is clearly in need of a cliche: "reach for the moon and you'll at least get some stars or something like that." See?!! Yes your goal was high (see: moon) but your end result was pretty good (see: stars). Congrats on the increase in followers!

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