Tag Archive: Insanity


Well, I’ve definitely learned something. I was doing exactly what I thought I was doing. It’s annoying to have to tell myself I was right and that I was wrong and that I was being stupid. Yes, that probably sounds crazy, but keep in mind that it’s a conversation with myself, and I’ve told you before, writers are crazy. It’s what we do.

You might recall I said in my last awards post that I was never satisfied with my word count, that if I did 3k last draft, I would be pushing myself for 4k on the next? That’s literally true.  It’s what I’ve been doing, and I think that’s been part of the problem. 4k every day is a lot (especially after an 8 hour work day), and some days it isn’t there, but do you think I let myself understand that? Heck no. Yes, this means I’ve berated myself on the days it isn’t there, tried to wheedle and coax myself into getting there anyway, and I keep giving in to myself on it instead of saying “Look self, I’m over 3k, pace was 2.5k, enough. We’re good for the day.” And that only gets worse on the weekends, where the line is “If I can do 4k on a weekday, I should be able to do a lot more than that when I have all day. 6k minimum, and I should keep pushing even after that.” It’s never enough for me, it seems.

That is not to say I was wrong in my last post about the wall being related to a story problem. That was the wall, but when I got that problem sorted, I still had some trouble getting the engine to turn over and realized that it’s because I hadn’t even started it and already had the pedal matted.  Not good, only floods the engine. I was sitting there and seriously telling myself that I had to make sure I hit at least 4k every day now, and that this weekend I should use the time to make up for the lack of writing after I hit the wall.  After a moment, I realized exactly how stupid that sounded and went off to read for a while.  It was a delicious thing to turn away for an hour and do something else.  I won’t say it’s easy to resist the pressure I put on myself, but I think it’s worth doing sometimes, if only to me back on an even keel.

It’s great to drive myself to finish the book, but if I drive myself to the point of wanting to walk away, that’s just counterproductive (and the above mentioned stupid). Then I end up quitting over not meeting some artificial, self-imposed quota or deadline that wasn’t reasonable to begin with.  In a way, I’m laughing at myself right now.  I’ve told a number of people to take the pressure off of themselves, to be reasonable in their goals, to dial it back to where it’s still about loving writing. Do you think I take my own advice? Yeah, right, that would be sensible, which I rarely manage. So I am going to do that, I’m going to take my own advice. I’m going to dial it back, tell myself that 3k, which only a couple of months ago would have thrilled me as a regular achievement, is perfectly acceptable. I’m still over 20k ahead of pace and even that isn’t the point.  I need to let myself be a little sane (don’t laugh too hard, we’re talking my version here), do some things that aren’t writing the book or I’m going to do myself some harm here.  I don’t think I could quite make myself hate writing, but if I keep this up, it may become a job in the less pleasant sense, rather than the job that doesn’t feel like work as it has been for the past few months.

I’m the one who keeps talking about maintaining balance, so it’s time to bring this back into balance. What’s funny about that is I have this feeling that if I can rebalance this, the numbers will probably jump again on their own, if I’m not trying to force it anymore.  That’s just the way things usually work in my life.

I haven’t reported numbers on Possession for a while now, so I am going to do that now, so that maybe I (and the rest of you) can really see that it’s not like I’m in danger of not hitting my goal or not finishing the draft.  I know where I am with the outline, and the chances are excellent that, like the second draft of DM, I will finish the book at or before the end of my February NaNo, even with me dialling it back.  As of the end of the day yesterday, the manuscript stood at 62,151 words. I’m about to start chapter 16. Even with the problems this week, not including today because I haven’t gotten started yet, I’ve put in a total of 13,396 words. That’s fantastic, and I really should be happy with that.  I’m trying to be, trying to ignore the totals from Thursday and Friday (though Friday at least wasn’t bad, especially if you realize that I was rewriting a not so small section that wasn’t right when I forced myself to write it in pursuit of the artificially inflated finish line).  I really need to maintain some perspective here, something I’m spectacularly bad at doing myself most of the time, for all that I can help other people do it.

I do want to say a very, very big thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read, like and comment on the posts in the last few days. Your words of encouragement, support, and advice have helped more than I can tell you.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the supportive community is what makes WordPress a wonderful place to blog.

In closing, today’s picture. I thought we could all use some sun and colour on this February morning.

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7 Times 7 Times My Age…

Actually, lets not go there.  I refuse to admit that numbers go that high when they’re in the same sentence as my age. 🙂

Jmmcdowell was kind enough to nominate me for the 7×7 award, with comes with such a long list of instructions that they give you 7 trophies so that they can write them all on it.  My, that mantle is getting full. I need to build a bigger fireplace.  Ohhh, bonfires and s’mores indoors!  Yay!

So, onward!  To the lists, I mean instructions.

  1. Share some things about myself
  2. link to 7 of your own posts: Most Surprisingly Successful, Most Underrated, Most Popular, Most Beautiful, Most Helpful, Most Controversial and Most Pride-Worthy
  3. Nominate 7 blogs

Hmm, okay, I can handle this, though I might engage in some judicious cheating.  Again.  I’m incorrigible, I swear.  I blame my characters for that, by the way.

So, about me:

  • I love Skull Candy over-ear headphones, particularly their Hesh series.  My old ones died recently, but after like 3 years of daily (ab)use, I don’t think they owed me anything.  I got new ones just a couple days ago, black and blue.  Only purple would have been better.  I miss the inline volume control my old ones had, but I can learn to live without it.  Best ear muffs/self-dense in the mall ever.
  • I feel like I’m cheating on Tavis when I make notes on my newest idea (non-Mirrors one), because I absolutely adore the main character in this new one.  The fact that I can even think of it like that slightly disturbs me (well, only a little), but then I view authors as crazy people.  It’s what we do.
  • The reason I think of authors as crazy (in a general, non-threatening, non-commitable kind of way) is because we keep imaginary people (multiple, not just one) in our head, and often imaginary places, and then we take them out and make them dance for other people’s entertainment.  I challenge you not to think of it as crazy when put like that.  I can’t.
  • I love discovering new (to me) authors and letting them seduce me into their worlds.  Yes, I really do think of it that way.  I love this almost as much as I enjoy new books by favourite authors.
  • No one can possibly be more surprised than me at this blog being successful.  I write about my writing.  And apparently my awards.  I mean, I never expected this many people to pay attention to that.  You guys came to see me, no kidding, 1006 times in January.  WTH?  I know it’s not discrete visits, but I mean, wow.  You guys knock my socks off.  I suppose I have to try to do even better in February, don’t I?  Damned short months…

Okay, enough talking about me as I seem to do that a lot already.  Time to talk about my blog, and the cheating I’m about to do.  Did I say that out loud?

Most Surprisingly Successful: Take A Number At The Counter Please.  Usually it’s my awards posts that seem to garner the most comments or likes, but this one is all about writing (mine of course) and yet is my second most commented post to date, and that was quite touching.

Most Underrated: Writing is Like Ogres.  Okay, I admit it, the extended Shrek reference was not as funny when written down as it sounded in my head.  But I do like the post in a general sense, the importance of layers and how you get them into a story.

Most Popular: Where’s My Fancy Dress And Speech.  This one’s easy.  Do you know that still gets searched for?  I have no idea why, either.

Most Beautiful: The Biggest and the Smallest, one of my few posts touching on the truly philosophical, rather than my philosophies on writing.

Most Helpful: I Think I Found My Brevity seems to have started off a lot of ruminating, for me and a few others from comments, about self-publication and how authors can take control of their own works.  On a side note, the other day I noticed I had search terms pop up for “My Brevity” and collapsed into laughter as I thought to myself “But I already found it” 🙂

Most Controversial: I’m skipping this one (aka cheating) because we all know I don’t do controversy.  It’s hard to get controversial about yourself with yourself.  Doesn’t work, trust me.

Most Pride-Worthy: Catastrophe or Opportunity?  One of the hardest things as a writer, that I see more writers stumble on than anything else, is being honest about their own work.  Also, it’s hard to realize that the thing that is totally broken can be made better, that out of disaster can arise something good.  We won’t go into how much worse I felt later that evening as the realization set in.  Only a couple people know, and no one else needs to.

I know, they are almost all fairly recent, but my brain is too full for long-term memory, really.  The buffer keeps running over and losing the old data.  But either way, I prefer to look forward as much as possible, and not dwell on old stuff more than I need to.  Always moving forward, that’s the ticket.

And, last but not least, my 7 blogs:

  1. The Joys of Writing
  2. Lifeinthefarcelane
  3. dex raven
  4. Tim Kane Books
  5. Words From the Night
  6. Constantly Living As Myself
  7. Meredith Mansfield

Well, there you have it, my blogs and fellow bloggers, and peak into my twisted mind.  Now, if you’ll pardon me, I think I have to go break up a fight in my subconscious.  Long story, I’ll explain next time, promise.  Devan won’t let me forget, I assure you.

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