I think I like being up during the early morning hours. I don’t like getting up early, but I like being up early in the morning. Anticipation, wakening, determination fill the world with a creative energy. For a few hours, I bask in it, my head filling with characters, their stories and images to give a permanent form.
Then I wilt. Whether I slept soundly the night before or grabbed an hour or two cat-nap after a reckless all-nighter, I wilt about the same time each day. It’s not a meal thing either. If I eat, I have a slump; if I don’t, I slump.
Today… I’m in a slump for a bunch of reasons.
The biggest is I overestimated my energy for my part as staff in the JuNoWriMo. I’m holding it together, mostly, by ignoring the little things, like pleasure reading, cleaning my desk… Oh!
Well, actually, I’ve spent a lot of the last few days reading. Opened up the Kindle app my phone a few times and spent some time reading short stories I’d downloaded a while back. Since short fiction is not my usual fare, it was doubly cathartic. I tend to be less critical when I’m in an ‘alien’ zone. That said, I read one piece that would have hit the wall had it not been my phone.
I wonder how many people can say an iPhone saved their story? Or in this case, a story nearly destroyed their iPhone… and am I the only one or does strike you odd too that iPhone doesn’t set off the spellchecker but all-nighter does?
Oh, and from some of my more pleasurable reading this week, can I please inspire you to read Maria Popova’s Commencement Address to the Annenberg School of Communications? This, along with her recent post Against Self-Criticism: Adam Phillips on How Our Internal Critics Enslave Us, the Stockholm Syndrome of the Superego, and the Power of Multiple Interpretations were exactly what I needed to read after the last few days of sprinting sessions for the JuNo. I’ve begun, but not finished How Kindness Became Our Forbidden Pleasure, but I read enough to know I wanted to read the book. It’s on order from the library now.
The experience of which COULD lead me into a rant about the layout of the local library system, but… maybe for another day. It time for my:
ROW80 Check-in and Assessment
All weeks should be this profitable… (okay, maybe not all, but more than a few, which is where I seem to be right now). I’m still not making much progress on that Goal #1, but it’s OK. I’m reading other things, and exposure to writing and stories in general is always good to get the mental gears spinning.
- Goal (#1): working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
- Progress: nothing, no progress here at all
- Not-progress, but… explored other fiction formats, some YA (by Avi) and a huge bunch of short stories
- Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
- Progress: I haven’t submitted anything, but then neither has anyone else. Three of us are doing the JuNoWriMo, so perhaps no one has something ready
- Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
- Progress: of a sort… see the next goal
- Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
- Progress: I’ve been doing a lot of handwritten work and typing it the next day for my word counts, so yes, a definite “Check”
- Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: continued progress my languages (except Spanish and Russian… dropped the ball on those two)
As you can see, another really good week. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to maintain this momentum (I’m hoping to make it a regular habit that just IS, but that takes time). I know even then there will be off days that things just don’t work anymore, but I’m hoping to reduce those to just a few and start enjoying my rest days more because I won’t be stressing about the work I’ve missed on my off ones.
And now, the Boodle update for those interested… you’ll have to turn your volume up for this one; Dan wasn’t in the best position to capture the video (things you realize after the fact). But for anyone interested, here are two slices of Boodle: his most recent piano recital and today at the Albany ComicCon.