Routine is the only way I can actually manage being reliable. I’m too easily distracted to remember appointments without writing them down, or remembering to post when I’m taking a few days off from writing in the morning.
Of course, yesterday I got up at 6, showered, and went back to bed until 7, so there was no time to post in the morning. (Mainly because I stayed up late to finish reading The Alloy of Law, by Brandon Sanderson. Excellent book, by the way!)
I didn’t even think of posting at lunch, and after work was yoga, which left me too worn out to do more than eat supper and then play Sudoku on easy level until I had digested enough to go to bed without making myself sick…
Getting up early really is the key for me to getting other stuff done. And sticking to a routine is the easiest way for me to be reliable. Posting, writing, eating, working, even making sure I get enough sleep – everything can be thrown off-kilter by a single change to my routine. (In this case, taking a break from writing to read new books… and staying up late to finish one, which made me sleep late, etc.)
Does that mean I’m going to go straight back to getting up at 5 and writing every morning? Nope! I’ve got at least one more book to read before I settle down to another period of reliability.
If you just keep trying, and also keep inquiring into why you failed and how you can do better at achieving your goals.
I think I’m giving up on my NaNoWriMo attempt. The story hasn’t gone anywhere I meant for it to, my characters are experts at magically defusing conflict as soon as I introduce it, and they’ve been persistently unwilling to play around in the Mistlands and discover any of its secrets.
I hate them and I want them all to die… Which could probably provide a final burst of 12,000 words by the end of the month, if 50,000 words was my real goal.
My real goal, though, is to get better as a writer, and to learn to write longer, more involved and interesting stories. Sending this one out in a blaze of unreadable glory wouldn’t serve that goal, I don’t think.
Instead, I will consign them to the lonely oblivion of the hard drive, and ponder what I did wrong before I start up another one.
I’m also going to allow myself to read a couple of novels, which I’ve been growing cranky about not reading in the past few days while I’ve been falling out of love with my story.
And I guess that’s the big problem. There’s nothing I love about this story.
I was reading another author’s post about writing 10,000 words per day, and she was saying that one of the keys was feeling enthusiastic about what she was going to write, that another was to know what she wanted to write that day, and that the third was choosing the right times to write.
I kind of wasn’t doing any of those this month. :-p
Ah well. There are definitely lessons to ponder here, and in the meantime, other people’s books to read!
Anneka woke with a start from dreams of blood and terror to lie panting in the darkness, listening to the gentle sound of a child snoring.
She tried to take comfort in the closeness of other living people, but the anxiety from her dream grew instead of fading. Suddenly the makeshift shelter seemed too small, the air she shared with a dozen other sleepers too sparse. She took a deep breath and held it while she struggled to get outside without waking any of the others.
Outside, she sat gasping at the cool night air and trying not to let herself hyperventilate or cry out. Eyes wide to catch the faint moonlight, she wished for morning, or a flashlight, or even the double-edged sword of firelight.
The soft voice made her jump, but also told her where to look to catch the glint of moonlight off the sentry’s night vision goggles.
“N-n-n-nightmare,” she managed, hugging herself tight.
He grunted acknowledgement. They all had reason enough for nightmares. “Just make sure you keep it quiet,” he said. “We don’t…”
He let out a sudden, startled groan, and then his body flew apart in front of her, and the high, ululating screech of the invaders echoed through the night.
First off, I did not go shopping yesterday, on Black Friday. I think doing so would have been mildly insane.
I went out today to get a few things I’ve been needing, and was pleased to find the stores remarkably calm. I also got lucky with the clearance racks at Kohls, where I was intending to buy some cheapo sports bras for working out, and wound up finding some high-quality sports bras (that fit!) for cheaper than the cheapo bras!
Anne McCaffrey, author of the Pern novels and several other series, is dead.
I’ve been thinking for a few days that I should write something, maybe include links to some of my favorite books by her.
Every time I go to start, I wind up writing about something else, though.
* * *
I’m not sure why, but when I was a kid, for some reason I assumed that all of the people who had written the books I loved were already dead.
It was somewhat disconcerting, therefore, when someone would mention that a favorite author had just died. “Weren’t they already dead?” I would wonder, generally silently.
Likewise, it was a disconcerting pleasure when I would discover, say, a new book by Robin McKinley or Anne McCaffrey or Andre Norton. “Wait, why didn’t I know about this one? It was just published this year?? But I thought she was dead!!!”
Alas, now two of those three have passed on, though I am pleased to say that Robin McKinley is still writing, and even blogging daily, long may she continue!
* * *
Anne McCaffrey was 85 when she passed away a few days ago, so perhaps it was not entirely unexpected, but I think the flip side of having started my reading life thinking all these wonderful authors were dead is that having found out many of them were still alive, I almost expect them to be immortal, as if they have truly journeyed back from death once already.
And certainly, in an entirely selfish manner, I want them to continue being alive, and sharing their wonderful stories, for as long as possible! I take comfort, though, in the fact that even once they pass on, their work lives on, letting them continue to touch and shape readers’ lives and minds indefinitely.
Perhaps it is a little bit like immortality after all…
In any case; safe journey, Dragonlady, to whatever comes next.