Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Q and A

Q: Do you want to come over and watch the Colts game?
A: Nope, gotta stay home and write.

Q: Do you wanna go get some coffee after work?
A: Nope, gotta go straight home and write.

Q: Did you see the season premier of such-and-such show?
A: Nope, I was writing.

Q: Can you come over and help me with...
A: Nope, gotta write.

Momentum vs. Burn Out - a delicate balance. How to keep up the momentum without risking Burn Out...this question has weighed on me very heavily lately.

I'm trying not to alienate my friends by dropping off the face of the planet, but I've got a good start on Project Reach, I just need to follow through, get a little work done every day, and keep inching towards the goal. I try to put in two solid hours of research and writing every night, but it's difficult. It's almost like having a second job! I think it'll be easier to manage once I've gotten a laptop, but until then I have to try to remember not to hole myself up at my desk for too long lest I stagnate and run up against a block. Part of my strategy for avoiding the dreaded tandem of writer's block and burn out is this blog. Whenever I'm frustrated, I air my head out a bit right here instead of junking up the manuscript with observations that will end up being edited out in the end. I do worry about putting too much energy into blogging and not enough in writing, but that balance will eventually shift, I'm sure, when I've cleared more of the research phase.

Speaking of research, I'm a little mad at myself for not having read more of my research titles. But I have to remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I can't absorb everything all at once, and I just have to be patient. If I learn something that informs or negates a passage I've already written, it's never too late to go back and make changes! I have months and months ahead of me to dedicate to reaching my research goals. I have added some fiction titles to the mix, though, to help lighten the mental tax that research papers and textbooks have placed on my brain. "Stranger than Fiction" and "A Beautiful Mind" are on the list. I doubt I'll finish reading the Raymond Chandler book I started. It's served it's purpose for the time being, and I need to move on to something more illuminating.

I'm considering - since I'm switching my operating system to Ubuntu next month, anyway - making the leap from Microsoft Word to Open Office. I am comfortable with Word. I know it's capabilities and it's weaknesses. Learning a new software program might set me back for a few days, but it might be worth it in the end to have the ability to update my thesaurus and have a more dependable word processor. Word has been shafting me with auto-save fails that crash the program lately, and I would have to have to lose a hard-won paragraph because of a software error. I would be very, very unhappy if such a thing were to occur.

My sister told my mother I was writing a novel. She said, "Good. I hope you sell it and make lots of money." I do, too, but I think she's missing the most important point.

A friend of mine who follows the blog observed that:
Claire + David = Will Hunting

Haha! He's right!

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