Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Update

I'm blowing through my modest goals! I know it's early in the round, but it's such a relief to feel like I'm back with a system that works. I wish I could remember this feeling every time I feel like sitting out a round. I'm almost doubling my goals, and I'm writing a little more each day. My output's only going up, and that feels really, really good.

Kait Nolan posted this article about the habits of creative geniuses. It's really worth a read. I've got several things in common with them, but there are definitely things to add to my repertoire. Like long walks, and writing in the morning, for the same amount of time or same word count. In other words, these people, like Gertrude Stein and Anthony Trollope, are very disciplined and consistent. That's something I could definitely work towards but there was one point that struck me as especially wise, and I've really been working on it this week:

Stop writing when the ideas are still flowing.

Initially, this felt backward to me. I've always written and written like it was some kind of marathon, every single time. I mean, isn't that how you're supposed to do it? Milk each session for all it's worth? But Hemingway said it was important for him to leave off at a creatively fertile point. That way, he always knew he'd be coming back to something important. This has been working for me. No more exhausting myself over the course of hours, writing thousands of words only to stare at a blank page the next day, agonizing over where to start. The starting point is there, because I made sure to leave some important thing unfinished the day before.

The only thing I didn't do this week that I wish I had was skip yesterday. Lots of errands. We finally placed the little Chihuahua rescue with a loving family, and that involved a moderately long car trip. But it was really important to do it. Worth losing a writing session over. Life happened, in other words, and so I decided to trade Tuesday for Saturday. I'm actually planning to take a writer's break and actually leave the baby with her siblings, and go write over coffee like people do. Hopefully I'll blow my word count out of the water, but if I don't, I think I'll still meet my modest word count goal. And for now, that's more than enough.