Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Writing, actual writing, and my new patio

I've had several opportunities over the last year -- during a pause between drafts usually -- to work on other writing projects. I always think, "Hell, I drafted a novel in 5 months. I'll use this spare week to write a killer short story." So far I haven't been executing on that. I've made notes and sketches a few times but haven't stuck with it and never used that time well. I end up surfing the web. I guess the next aspect of writing discipline I'll need to work on is moving back and forth between more than one project. It's just not time efficient to wait until everything about a given project is 100% done. There's too much waiting around.

I'm in one of those pauses now, waiting to hear back from my readers, and yesterday I tried to discipline myself a little. I wrote one brief scene on that short story. The little bit of work I did felt good. I miss that drafting stage.

It was also a trial run for using our new patio as a workspace. I see myself doing the revisions out there this summer and drafting all my next books each of the following summers. Yesterday for the first time, the completion of the patio, the weather and my inclination to write all coincided.

In all honesty, it didn't go that well. I'm too easily distracted by the racket that the squirrels and birds make. I like to watch their fights. I can't stay down in the zone where I need to be to invent and write the scene I'm working on. A shame if I won't be able to use it. Maybe I'll grow used to it, and maybe the line editing I'll be working on next will go better since it requires a different kind of concentration.

That still leaves the screened porch, which is also very pleasant and where I'm a little buffered by the noise of the wildlife. Only the most raucous squirrel fights make me look up. Sitting on the screened porch is where the book was drafted originally. That was the best part of the process so far.

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