Thursday, December 11, 2008

Word count on a yesterday day

Because I'm doing (or have plans to do) Everything to write, rewrite and launch my novel, by 9:00 on a typical Serious day I’ve done my work-out and have written 1000 words or more.

When I read about other writers “avoiding the page,” it makes no sense. We don’t go through the publication and submitting process because there’s nothing else to do – we’re Serious, most of us.

I understand it completely.

It’s not a block, it’s a disconnect between the stars of the mind that have to align in order to create. On good days, that connection falls in without a lot of prep work. You pack up your imagination and la-la-la, wander deep into the forest-mind of your character, visualizing everything from a facial expression to the sound of traffic going by. And you write it all down before the tape stops. You say "There! Done!" and wheel back from the desk in your chair. On bad days, you’re in two places at once. You’re wondering how a character would react to a murder scene, while you consider a holistic treatment for the dog’s hot spot.

Yesterday by 9:00, I’d sent an e-mail to a couple of people to see if anyone else thinks Rod Blagojevich resembles Michael Scott with bangs, checked out mug shots of musicians on Smoking Gun to prove to my son that Axl Rose had been arrested (he has), read a couple of Onion articles, made a shopping list, and clicked on most of the AOL headlines (what pop star under 25 just gave birth to number four, I wanted to know). Then I windexed the glass surfaces in my attic, looked for "Christmas Festival" by the Boston Pops, IM’d my violist daughter who was having a bad AM, and skimmed all of my favorite sites authored by Very Serious writers. This made me (finally) go back to my WIP, where I changed “as though,” to “as if,” sixteen times.

Yield by 10:00: fourteen words.

Because yesterday was such a crappy day weather and Economy wise, I was pretty convinced by 4 PM that I would fail to Do Anything, much less Everything, in spite of what it says up there at the top of this page.

But just for fun, at around 4:05, I opened a page. I did a little editing. A little thinking, and dreaming. I had the right music playing. And I wrote a scene that nailed the relationship between two major characters, when they witness a crime scene together.

And now I’m in love again.

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