Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Work interrupted

No progress yesterday and today. On the surface it's because of interruptions from the real world--some car trouble and needing to run to the doctor for a blood test--but in reality this illustrates how fragile the conditions are for writing. The errands haven't actually taken up that much time--there's literally still time for me to write today, in fact.

But my process is to write first thing in the morning after my coffee. I try not to be a prima donna about the writing conditions but the one thing I can't seem to tolerate is having my mind and my body attend to anything else before I start writing.

So I fiercely protect the mornings and schedule all my work and errands for after lunch so that nothing interrupts the plan to write in the mornings. I don't make or take phone calls. I don't try to get that one little thing done first so it's out of the way. Whatever. The plan is just--wash my face, drink my coffee, sit down at the writing table. My wife has learned not to talk to me about what should be on the grocery list until later.

But sometimes it can't be helped. The car had to be fixed yesterday. I had to get the blood test today. They had to be done in the morning. I just have to write off those days as far as working on the novel and try to make them as productive as possible regarding the rest of my life.

That's not to say that I don't at least do a lot of mulling over. More and more every day now the book is back on my mind the way it was when I was drafting so yesterday I was able to imagine some new possible endings for the whole book and some possible solutions to the problem I hope to address in Chapter One. The delays in the schedule is frustrating, but it's no real harm to the book itself. It probably even helps sometimes.

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