The Journal, Friday, 7/24

The Day

Rolled out about 3. Checked email and did some other waking-up stuff.

Good rain last night so no walk today. Not sure I can even get out of my driveway. (grin)

No matter how the writing turns out today, more than likely I’ll be going on hiatus from this blog for a few days. I might post and I might not. I’ll be driving about 11 hours per day, so I don’t need the unnecessary added pressure of hoping I can get this out before 5 p.m. each day, especially when I won’t be able to write while I’m driving.

Now I understand I could just pre-post a “placeholder” post or something like that, but that just seems kind’a silly. I DO have a streak going with this, but using an occasional placeholder post seems like cheating to me. Plus I wasn’t really trying to get a streak going with this. It just kind’a worked out that way.

I started this back in mid-October to give other writers and would-be writers a glimpse at my life since I’ve started writing fiction full time as a profession. I guess taking an occasional hiatus is part of the writing life too, right? (grin)

I have posts pre-published and ready to go on my other two blogs, the Pro Writers series and the Free Short Story of the Week, so those will continue. But this is a daily post of what I did that day, and probably all I’m gonna be doing is driving and sleeping.

If I see anything interesting that has to do with writing or the writing life along the way I’ll certainly report it. In fact, I might well take a few notes at the end of each day and then report those when I have time.

Topic of the Night: Starting and Restarting

First, if you’re an aspiring writer and you haven’t started that novel or short story, it’s time. And by “started” I don’t mean you thought about it or researched it or told all your friends you were gonna do it. By “started” I mean you sat down at the keyboard and actually put words on the page.

If you haven’t started yet, and if you’re having trouble with that, chances are you’re the victim of an unreasonable fear.

If you write something and it’s great, absolutely nothing will happen. And if you write something and it sucks canal water from all 50 states, well, nothing will happen then either. So sit down and Just Write.

To get better, you have to practice. And to practice, you have to start.

So you’re ready and willing, and the question now is, What do I do next?

Sit down at the keyboard, put your fingers on the keys, and type whatever comes. Just type whatever comes.

You’re not writing a story or a novel. You’re just writing a sentence.

Then write the next sentence. Then write the next sentence. Keep doing that, and before you know it, you will have written a scene.

Once you write that first sentence, DON’T stop and critique it. DON’T stop and edit it. DON’T wonder how it’s gonna fit with whatever’s coming in the future.

Just write the next sentence.

If you want to start, that’s how you start.

And if you need to restart, that’s pretty much how you restart too.

More than likely I won’t be writing for awhile. Probably at least three days, and maybe the whole ten days.

And of course, I’m nearing the end of a WIP, unless I finish it today, which is doubtful.
So I’ll be restarting when I get back.

For restarting, the best method I’ve found is to cycle back and read some of what I’ve written. With some stories I might start at the beginning and read all the way through, allowing myself to touch the manuscript here and there.

Caution: if you do this, DON’T look for “too many” instances of a particular word or “too many” uses of a particular sentence structure. Your subconscious knew what it wanted when it wrote that segment the first time. But if you happen on “moss” and know “lichen” is closer to what you were wanting to convey, by all means change it. So when I say I’ll allow myself to touch the manuscript as I read through it, that’s what I mean.

With this story I’ll probably cycle back about five pages, maybe ten, and read from there. Then when I get to the end of what I’ve written, I’ll just write the next sentence, then write the next sentence.
In other words I’ll give it all over to the higher power: my subconscious: and let it do what it does best. (grin)

By the way, another good blog post over at today. A weird analogy that didn’t really work for me, but I got his point. I think you will too.

Today’s Writing
Fiction words: 2713

Writing of The Battle of Tres Caballos (Book 8)
Day 1…… 4125 words. Total words to date…… 4125
Day 2…… 2624 words. Total words to date…… 6749
Day 3…… 2766 words. Total words to date…… 9515
Day 4…… 1412 words. Total words to date…… 10927
Day 5…… 3441 words. Total words to date…… 14368
Day 6…… 1052 words. Total words to date…… 15420
Day 7…… 2486 words. Total words to date…… 17906
Day 8…… 3201 words. Total words to date…… 21107
Day 9…… 3186 words. Total words to date…… 24293
Day 10… 1585 words. Total words to date…… 25878
Day 11… 2178 words. Total words to date…… 28056
Day 12… 1730 words. Total words to date…… 29786
Day 13… 1083 words. Total words to date…… 30869
Day 14… 1784 words. Total words to date…… 32653
Day 15… 4018 words. Total words to date…… 36671
Day 16… 3116 words. Total words to date…… 39787
Day 17… 1678 words. Total words to date…… 41469
Day 18… 1805 words. Total words to date…… 43274
Day 19… 2713 words. Total words to date…… 45987

Total fiction words for the month…………… 36717
Total fiction words for the year……………… 442400

4 thoughts on “The Journal, Friday, 7/24”

  1. Good luck with the 11 hour days of driving, Harvey.
    Just returned today from three weeks away- last four days from NH to Maryland, Maryland to Indianapolis, Indy to Amarillo, Texas, then Amarillo to Green Valley- 2800 + miles and three 11 hour days with one 14 hour day. Worth it to see grandkids but drivers are insane these days.
    Be careful!
    ps- Not much writing except for blogging but ready to jump back in with goals set for tomorrow!

  2. Just got back from a week in San Diego…our driving days are just four hours long…that’s how we like it. Wrote only one beautiful scene…well I think it is… where my villain spends two hours in the Gaslamp District where we spent seven days…did some circling back to fit the scene in, saw old and dear friends and generally just relaxed. Have a safe and glorious trip. Duke has a point about the crazy drivers out there. So your restarting comments fit me like a glove. Can’t wait to get back to writing.

    • Thanks Bonnie. In Amarillo, relaxed my way here but still a longer drive than it was only a few years ago. All is well. Keep writing.

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