Daily Archives: January 2, 2011

The problem with Sunday afternoon

The problem with Sunday afternoon is you can see Monday morning from there.

It’s been a really low-key “staycation” this week. We didn’t do too much. Andrew swam at the Edina JV invitational–and swam pretty well, too, coming in second in one of his heats.

We had snow, and we had rain, and we had cold, cold, cold. I read and managed to write a little, and pondered how I wrote so much last year and yet have so little to show for it. I guess I could print off a those two drafts, stack the paper on the floor, and say, “There be words.” But even that lacks impact.

Still, I wrote a lot (a 90,000 word draft and the revision of another 90,000 word draft). And if I learned anything in 2010 about writing, it’s the things I already knew:

  1. Writing a little bit every day (or almost every day) really adds up. Sure, we all know this in theory, but if you’re pecking out 300 – 500 words a day, it can feel frustrating. It can feel like it’s not even worth it. But it’s a lot like exercise. Not only does your word count grow, when you do have free time, you have the strength to really write.
  2. The quality of a scene has absolutely no relation to how you feel* while writing it. Think you’re writing deathless prose? Ha. Think again. Think it’s crap. Well, it might not be. By mid-year, I’d decided that how I felt during a particular writing session had no bearing on the result, so I simply ordered myself to write–it would all sort itself out later.

*This is a different feeling than when a scene/plot element isn’t working. True, one can masquerade for the other. But in either case, the antidote is the same: keep writing.

And that was 2010: a lot of words in drafts, not so many on the blog. This year, I’m going to aim for a few more in both places.

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