Whenever I say I’m going to do X, Y, Z the next day, I never end up doing it in the order that I anticipate. Invariably Z pushes to the forefront, I forget about Y entirely, and X comes along in the end pulling up its stockings and swearing that it’s only so late because the alarm didn’t go off.
Lying, weaselly X.
Anyways, the last thing I’ve done so far today is write. Or at least finish writing for the day. The internet went down today, so the morning was spent finishing the book by Terry Brooks (mentioned yesterday) and then I started writing long hand while watching The Last Unicorn on my computer. (I’d just finished the novel a few weeks back and wanted to see both what I remembered from the first time I saw it, twenty-plus years ago, and how it differed from the source material. They cut out so much, and it was already a small book, but at least what they kept wasn’t altered at all.) After lunch, my Dentist called – they’d had a cancellation and I hadn’t been in for ages – so I braved the numbing cold to walk down for a teeth cleaning. When I got back, I fixed dinner, just re-heating a plate of leftovers, and set about finishing my words for the day.
320 or so words. Still nicely above my minimum. But it’s getting weird. And not in an un-enjoyable way.
When I would normally sit down and set for myself a word count goal of 1,000 words or more there was this pressure to just spill it out as much and as quickly as I could. Sometimes I did. Other times, teeth-pulling, angsting, fretting until finally the words either came out slowly or in a sudden torrent. I thought it actions, events, broad strokes.
But now, with my focus on just a minimum of 250 words, it’s changed. Since I’ve started I don’t go into it thinking I’m going to write a big block of text. I really only think, 250, here we go, that’s all I need. I may be slow to start, but I get it done, and instead of taking out the big paint brush I’m using the small detailed brush. I have to really think about where I left off in the scene. Before I would, when I finally got around to it, be able to dash off a whole scene or carve it into two big sessions. Now 250 words is only a fraction of a scene, a fifth at best or a ten at most, and I have to constantly look back and think about where I am in the scene and where I’m going, almost word for word.
I’d worried that the writing was going to become very fragmented as a result but didn’t care, since the whole point of this was trying to build good habits first and work my way up to larger word counts. But I don’t know. I think I’m enjoying it more, going slow, slipping in a word here or there in between whatever else I’m doing. And I think the words are better. I still have to edit, and I did a little of that on the whole scene today after I’d hit my words and finished the scene, but I liked what I wrote. Really.
Tomorrow has become the trifecta of to-do’s – the letter, the first post, the first critique. I was thinking of making tonight my Personal Scrivener Workshop night, but I really want to finish Crystal Rain by Buckell tonight. That’s the plan!