Thursday, September 09, 2010

Day 5 of the weekathon of writing...

I know what you’re thinking… shouldn’t this be day 6 if you started the week on Saturday? I took Saturday off to go to the beach. I mean I am on VACATION.

Don’t think I didn’t pay for it. I ended up getting stung by “something” which resulted in a swollen foot for… yep still a little swollen.

So really I started Sunday. With my foot elevated.

The goal when I decided to take this vacation was twenty pages a day. Which would mean 20 pages at 7 days of writing (I built in beach days just in case)…let me get my calculator…140 pages total. Between the 120 pages I already had plus another 140 I would have … wait one more second while I add…260 pages. Which would be well over half the manuscript.

This would be enough to push me toward the finish line. The second half is all downhill right?

Has anyone seen 500 Days of Summer (Don’t be scared by all the numbers I know this is a writing blog). In that film they do a split screen scene called Expectation and Reality. You can see what the character “hoped/thought/dreamed” would happen. And then you see what actually did happen right next to it.

My life is that split screen.

On Sunday I recognized that in all my research reading I hadn’t written a word since leaving for Florida and the conference. Nearly 4 weeks ago. I quickly remembered that writing is a muscle. It needs to be exercised daily. Like my ass does - which was also what I was supposed to be doing this vacation but see stinging event above. A freakin’ bug sting has sidelined the expectation that I was going to get in shape and drop 5 pounds in a week all while writing a fabulous book. Figures.

On Sunday I spent three hours pushing out five pages. But like all exercise the next day got a little easier, then a little easier.

Am I meeting the goal? Hell no. Expectation and Reality. I shoot for expectation but have to live in reality. So 20 pages a day became a chapter a day. (My chapters range between 15-18 pages so it’s not too too bad.)

If I continue at this pace I will be through 15 of the 21 or 22 chapters I’ve planned.

The one thing I’m sure of right now is that it sucks. Let’s face it when your pumping out that many pages a day it isn’t going to be crisp clean prose, but I’m doing it.

And loving it.

I forgot how freaking much fun it is to totally immerse yourself in the work. On the flipside when I leave my condo to go do chores I’m speaking to sales clerks with a cockney British accent.

“Oy right, sir. Don’t bother wit a bag. Environment, ya see. Gotta keep it clean, ey?”


Karen W said...

LOL on expectation versus reality. I do that a lot. I mean A LOT! Seriously, I constantly calculate days until deadline and figure in how many pages I have to do a day etc.

Monday I'm leaving to drive 13 hours to Colorado to visit my dad and his wife. I'm hoping to get 5 pages a day while I'm there. We'll see.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Steph - sympathies on the swollen foot - that will teach you to go on vacation!!

As long as there is forward momentum I think you can count the week as a success if for no other reason but for what you said about enjoying the process again.

I had a writing date with Maureen yesterday and we agreed we are our own worst enemies when it comes to expectation and reality. I think it's part of the job.

But good luck on the last few days - you never know, you may suprise yourself.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Karen I tried that count down thing once. I just wasn't the type to stop at 5 if I could go 10 and there are days when 1 woudln't come. Now I just make sure I'm working consistently. You do that and you'll meet the deadlines.

Have fun in Colorado! A beautiful place for writing. (I'm assuming you're no where near the fires!)

Stephanie Doyle said...

Molly thanks! I think what I'll come away most with is that I'm back in a grove.

Right now it's 15 or so pages a day. Once I'm back to work it will be back to 5 a day.

But at least I'm back in that habbit.

It's a good one to be in.

Today - 5 pages so far... I sort of slept in a little. (A LOT). Did I mention I love vacation.

Eileen said...

Ooh! Bummer about the foot. Show me whatever stung you and I promise I'll slap it for you.

How fabulous to be wonderfully immersed in your story. Keep enjoying it.

And keep talking to people in a Cockney accent. I wish I could be there to see that! :-)

Maureen McGowan said...

It's expectation vs reality that always kills me. And yet I keep making these unrealistically hard goals and convincing myself they're doable and then beating myself up when I blow them.

Should be a lesson in there. One I'm too thick to apply.

Steph, glad you're making lots of progress!! (And too bad about the sting. Yuck.)

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