Two down, two to go

I came out of LibertyCon with invitations to participate in three anthologies. I was very excited about that – Sunday evening at the con, when it was all but over and the last casual groups were hanging out soaking up some social time with friends we might not see again for a long time, I got the last confirmation of ‘please write something’ and I was incandescent with happiness. It was a pleasant glow. Shortly after the con a fourth anthology crystallized from nebulous into reality. And then I got home, compared notes, and realized that I had deadlines! 

I’m actually good with deadlines. Self-imposed deadlines, like self-discipline, give me a little trouble. After all, as my own boss, who’s going to know if I miss a deadline? But external deadlines are different. I’m also a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so deadlines are a serious temptation to skid into sideways, whooping with glee after having spent all my energy in meeting it by {} that much. It took me some painful experience to get past that, and into what I try to do now. Which is to look at the end goal (in this case, two stories due in a month) and break it into digestible chunks. If I need to have 20K words written in a month, that’s a thousand words a day, five days a week. Quite reasonable. 

Except of course life doesn’t work like that. There are always other things that intrude on your schedule. In my case, writing is a side job. So the day job takes precedence, always. Add to that a couple of ‘I don’t feel so well’ days (likely triggered by stress, which I know, and work at avoiding, which adds it’s own delays) and suddenly I’m looking up at a deadline with half a story still to write. Which is what I did yesterday. Weekends tend to be very busy for me. I’m driving kids back and forth to work, doing any shopping, cleaning house, trying to give the garden some attention. Over the last couple of years weekends have historically not been good writing time for me, as I’ve been too scattered. This weekend, and the weekend before that, I broke the streak. Over 7000 words yesterday. Whew! I know I have friends who consider that a modest day’s output, but I blow a raspberry to them in all affection. I haven’t had a writing day like that in probably three years and I’m going to do a little happy dance about it. The fun thing about it was that as I was writing, and the story was flowing, I just wanted to do more, and more. It was like story intoxication and it was a heady feeling. Then, when I was done with the story, I wanted to write more!

I didn’t. I did laundry, instead, because clean pants are important, just never as exciting as bringing a world to life on the page. But this morning the First Reader and I composed a few lines on the next story, the one due at the end of August. The last of the quartet isn’t due until November, and that one needs me to be in the right frame of mind. Which means (oh, no, Br’er Rabbit! Don’t dangle me over that briar patch!) I need to do some intensive ‘flavor’ reading, plus watch a movie or three. Sigh. The things I do for my, er, whatever this is. 

But now, back to the cold hard sciency part of my brain, and off to work. I’ll try to bottle up some of this glee for the next time I need it. 


7 responses to “Two down, two to go”

  1. Actually, Br’er Rabbit was the one pleading NOT to be thrown into the briar patch.
    BTW, love the progress bars on the side.

    1. I know. I should have made that Br’ee Fox.

  2. Margaret Ball Avatar
    Margaret Ball

    Congrats on a great writing day… and I love the illustration! (Do save it. Might come in handy for the cover on the third Dragon Speech book, if you don’t already have a use for it.)

    1. I shall! I think it is one of the ‘Star’ series I rendered for Applied Topology, so it works well for this series as well.

  3. I could never write that much that fast.

    1. I used to be able to do this routinely. It’s like running – you have to be in condition and stay that way to maintain.

      1. This. I can ramp up to 8K words a day (in summer, with all chores done in advance). From August to May? 2-3K words is a really good day. It really depends on the writer, the genre, and Life. Especially Life! 🙂