Drafting a novel the easy way: days 71 to 81

So, we meet again.

I’ve been moved to blog today because I think that I’ve detected an infinitesimal lightening of the morning tiredness – the eyes grate ever so slightly less when I blink, and my mind can cope with thoughts beyond the simple desire to lean against the train window and sleep.

The USP of this project was originally that the process of drafting would be made easy by breaking it down into small, manageable chunks. Well, I can report that it aint so easy, particularly if you have a lifelong history of procrastination and only responding to hard deadlines. I now find myself looking at a significant shortfall in my word count, and I’m trying to think of different strategies to both keep up a steady output each day, and reduce my deficit so that I get back to my target. Looking at the numbers, I can see that I haven’t reached the magic 5,000-word mark in my deficit, and perhaps that will be enough to galvanise me.

I have managed to excrete some 34 words during this 10-day period, though in my defence that could have been more; on the blessed day when I was going at it the train carriage I was in developed a fault with the doors and we travellers were unceremoniously ejected. The train manager told one protestor quite bluntly ‘this is a form of transport, not an office’ and had no truck with this poor soul’s simple desire to stay at his table and keep typing. As an aside, I could venture that the marketing departments of train operating companies do not peddle this view of inter-city travel when they are showing executives polishing their Powerpoint presentations on promotional posters, and that it is not surprising that some confusion arose in this man’s mind. (Apologies for the quintuple alliteration there; it’s one of my weaknesses.) But getting back to the point – what this episode reinforces is the importance of routine to (my) writing life. As long as everything else goes as it should, and I’m sitting on a train that is running on time, with a shelf for my laptop and an empty seat beside me, I really ought to be able to get the words out. Boring as it may be, I have to normalise the other functions of my life if I’m to get creative in this one department.

And that is the state of the nation. What, are we nearly at our destination already? Do you mean to tell me that I have procrastinated away a whole train journey by blogging about writing rather than writing? Well, blow me down.

Word count: 3,131

Deficit: 4,969

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One Response to Drafting a novel the easy way: days 71 to 81

  1. @Xephile says:

    Strongly recommend http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/20/daily-routines-writers/ specifically and
    http://www.brainpickings.org in general!

    Did Hemingway really write standing up?

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