2007/05/23

Back to basics

It must be a personality glitch or something. A bad habit from childhood. A human tendency away from moderation and into extremes. Whatever it is, there is apparent within me a very limited ability to pace myself.

When I started writing a full-blown story, I had the felt experience of falling off a waterfall or going through the Bonneville Dam. That is what it felt like. Caught in the flow of a powerful current and pulled into the crashing water, down into the depths and suddenly popping out again down the river a way. It sort of took my breath away.

Okay, fine. I can live with that. It doesn't scare me any more to have that underwater sort of "in another world for awhile" experience. It feels a lot like being pregnant, actually. The rest of the world is visible - sometimes audible - but I'm not in it. I can deal with that.

It's this whole business of getting BACK INTO the river, and paddling a way each day that always stops me. I want that big powerful river to carry me some more. It's okay if I can't breathe properly, or see properly, or even choose my path with any kind of awareness or control or perspective. I can just go with the flow.

But it's apparent that this Calgon, Take Me Away approach is not going to get me very far. Time to row. I don't like rowing. It's really really really hard. (Read that over again if it wasn't heard in your head in a petulant whine.)

What a badly chosen default for my Life document. This formatting stinks. I must have Fred Flintstone's computer chip in my head or something, because I have to set the formatting every blasted day! Open the document, start to write, and suddenly the words run off the edge of the page - or everything ends up in capital letters - or it fluctuates between single, double, and 1.5 spacing between the lines - or the font changes unexpectedly. Aaaagh! You get the metaphor, right? My LIFE will not assume a format that accomodates my

Now I know that there are people in this world who have a much more natural tendency for presets and defaults that have lovely borders and dependable structure to them. These people have a sensible rhythm in their days. They get all their work done - and have time to spare. They do not have to go back to the basics every time they attempt to do anything at all with the projects they're working on. I very strongly suspect that those people don't even need their tidy little daytimers and Covey habits and mottos. They just gather that stuff like magnets gather iron filings.

Well, enough of this. Mario's right. 1K a day. Follow Heinlein up that hill. I suppose that since I'm simply not a natural at the daytimer stuff, I will simply have to get in the habit of setting my own margins - every stinking day - but I'm fine with that - really - I don't mind a bit - it's no problem. Back to basics today.

Robert A. Heinlein's rules for being a writer:

1. You must write.

2. You must finish what you write.

3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial request.

4. You must put it on the market.

5. You must keep it on the market until sold.

Anyone can do it. It just takes perseverence.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I took the NaNoWriMo challenge a few years ago, I had plucked from the drawer an old story idea from many years ago. When I started to write the story grew and changed just like our children do. It took on a life of its own, almost writing itself. It was hard to sit and write at least 1700 words a day but if I did not I would have gotten woefully behind my goal of 50000 words by the end of November. I now have a completely finished story (It does need editing).So just sit and dooooo it. Believe me it's a ride you will never forget. Nell

Carol Whipps said...

Yeah Steph! You need to block out those multi-daily interruptions! Ignore what/who you need to ignore! Know what I mean? Know WHO I mean?!

Francesca said...

RE: the "daytimer" stuff you refer to here, Stephanie?

I realized a while ago that that kind of scheduling only works for about one-quarter of the population. (Oddly enough, guess which quarter designs them? LOL)

The rest of us (myself included here) sort of "go with the flow," to piggyback on your reference to the Bonnefille Dam.

You don't have to "carve out time" to write. You simply have to "carve IN time."

Francesca