Thursday, January 9, 2014

One post away from becoming a hobo

A second ago I had zero. Now I have six. Scratch that--ten. Definite progress. The words are flowing easier now. Trying with music tonight. Loud music.

If only you knew how exciting this was--I've done the math and the odds of this reaching 500 words and posting before midnight...well, not something you would put money on.

You have the advantage of me. I'm staring at blank, blank screen, but you can already see the words; you know how this ends. So, do I make it? Missing tonight after a stinker as recent as January 7th would be calamitous; it could derail the whole project and send the 500 Word Challenge tumbling into a ravine.

At that point I'd have to scuttle the whole blog, drag Scrivener to the trash, perhaps become a hobo and hop trains. One can only withstand so much disappointment with yourself, especially as you are always there.

This, I'm guessing, is why people take up drink. How else do you get some peace from that chattering loon in your skull?

Three hundred words separate me from ruin. Let's notch up the music volume a bit. There's more below this, yes? More words? I didn't stop at the two-hundred mark? Because that's where we're at, and my eyes burn with fatigue. Fatigue and what I suspect is napalm in my shampoo, which seared my left eye half a day ago and still burns. Mental note to check the recipe on that bottle. Turpentine? Lime remover? Drain cleaner? I should also make sure the word "shampoo" appears somewhere on the front label as well.

I stare at screens and type all day for a living. Nothing like this, of course, but it's remarkable how much of our lives has come to typing. Ruminate on that for a while. It's coming up empty on my side but perhaps you can dredge something out of that.

Long blank stare here. You're skimming, aren't you? Such a luxury of the reader; I have to make this stuff up, with exercises to build healthy writing habits, and, like exercise, sometimes it comes easily and feels thrilling and other times it's just tedium and irritation.

Maybe you can help. Do you write with or without music? If you listen to music, does it have to be purely instrumental? When do you write? Morning, evening, at intervals during the day? Do you have to leave the house and head out to a library or coffee shop to get anything done? Can you read books during a writing project or do you need to isolate yourself from the thoughts and styles of other writers?

I think we're going to make it. Thanks for sticking with me. I definitely need to wrap this up sooner rather than later; the glow and clicking of my laptop is keeping my wife up. The difficult posts are certainly educational--it's becoming increasingly clear what works and what doesn't, and nighttime writing isn't harmonious with an exhausted household.

Do leave a comment if you're considering it--perhaps you can tell me how tomorrow goes.

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