I tried to write today. I really did. Yesterday, too. But something’s off. Yesterday I only got in 210 words before distractions and business interfered. Today there have been no distractions (unless you count the U.S. Men’s Hockey Team getting beaten by Canada – which, like, fuck man? I had high hopes this year) yet I’ve still only been able to write just over 300 words. My goal each day I sit down to write is 1,000. Never less. Often more.
I think there are a few things working against me. For one, until yesterday it had been nine whole days since I’ve written. That may not seem like a lot, but trust me it is. So now I’ve got to shake off some of that ring rust. Discipline myself, again. I think another problem is my backlog of projects. While on a good day it only takes me an hour to write 1,000 words or more I can’t help but think about revising The Inhabitors in time for the Nicholl early entry. Or working on a second draft of Peripheral so I can send it out for feedback. Or really attacking Manifest Destiny to try and break the story.
Mostly, I think I’m just stuck. I’ve resumed work on a story I initially started in 2012 and set aside because I wasn’t sure where to go with it. I know the endgame, but how to get there is a mystery to me. I picked it up again yesterday in an attempt at getting back into the swing of things with something that was already started. I was surprised at how much I liked it. But I’m not much further on in the journey than I was back then. Still know the ending. Still don’t know how to get there.
Which makes me think that perhaps more preparation is necessary for me. Which takes time. Which is something I’ve struggled with managing because it flies directly in the face of the goals I’ve set this year. Please don’t misinterpret that – the goals aren’t the problem. The man behind the goals is. I just need to get better at setting aside time to plan and write and edit. If I spend an hour per day on each – that leaves 21 hours for me to sleep, eat, watch TV, do work that actually makes me money, read, spend time with friends and family, so on and so forth. Time isn’t really the issue. How I have managed my time is.
Part of that time mismanagement is simple endurance. I’ve already written a lot so far this year (almost 37,000 words in 51 days plus an average of over 2.75 blog entries per week among other things). I’m not exactly short on ideas, but ideas have never been a problem for me. Solid execution is the problem, as I’m sure it is for most writers. It’s all part of the experiment. Maybe tomorrow, or next month, or when reviewing my year I’ll realize that, boy, getting words on paper isn’t a problem for me but getting good words down without thorough preparation really is. I should focus more on development and allow the execution to come from that. No way to really know without trying a few different methods to see what works.
And when I do figure it out… You guys better watch out. There’ll be a new King of the Written Word in town. /sarcasm