Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Final Stretch and Yawn

This past weekend, I had the brilliant idea that if I were to get up an hour or two early and write before work, I could double my output – kind of a final sprint to the finish line of a completed first draft. Okay, to be fair, that same idea occurred to me roughly every Sunday evening since I began writing, but it was usually abandoned by Monday morning in favor of a plan that involved beating my alarm clock senseless and falling back to sleep. Good for the soul, but bad for the word count.

Anyways, these past couple of days, I’ve succeeded in dragging myself out of bed, sitting myself in front of the computer, and plodding away, albeit while clinging to a rather sizeable mug of tea as though it were a life preserver. The writing’s come in fits and spurts, but with a couple of side-effects – one expected, one not.

The expected is that, when the writing is done and the day job begun, I’ve been a complete zombie, clumsy and lumbering and stupid (though so far thankfully lacking in the unquenchable hunger for human brains.) I’ve gotten almost nothing done, and what I have gotten done has been done at a fraction of my normal pace.

The unexpected is that, for the first time since those early halting pages, I haven’t the faintest idea how the writing is going. I think that often, writing is rhythm, and once you find yours, you tend to get up from the computer with a sense as to how the day has gone, for good or for ill. Today, and yesterday as well, I truly had no idea.

That’s not to say the writing’s been bad – in fact, reading over some of what came out yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised. That’s still a bit disconcerting, though. It’s one thing to be surprised where your story is going. It’s something else entirely to be surprised where it’s been.

Still, there is some satisfaction in the fact that this morning, Writing won out over Not Writing, doubly impressive because Not Writing offered the added seduction of Comfy Bed to sweeten the deal. As long as my thrilling climax doesn’t consist entirely of ALL WORK AND NO SLEEP MAKES SLEEP A SLEEP SLEEP, I suppose it’ll be worth it.

Oh, and I think my alarm clock is happier, too.