Swing of Things

I’ve started toying with the idea of beginning work on Book 3. The baby’s three weeks old now and will occasionally sleep more then 3hrs in a stretch at night. But only occasionally. We probably won’t have any kind of routine for a few more months, but my wife only has 5 weeks left on maternity leave. That means now might be when I have the most time to try writing.

Five weeks at my previous schedule is a lot of time. If I could do what I was doing for the end of Book 2, I could almost write most of the third one before she goes back to work. But I don’t see that happening.

Getting back into writing is always quite difficult. Even when I have some ideas I like, writing is an illusive state. Once you break the streak, it takes some doing to get back. Before, I would do 3-4 thousand words a day. I tried a few times yesterday to start, and barely got 300 crappy words. This blog post is already half that and it hasn’t involved staring blankly at the computer for 45min.

The biggest challenge is if knowing if my first section is weak or if I’m just out of practice. Getting back into writing and not liking something you’re working on have very similar symptons. Failure to progress, displeasure with the result, etc. Distinguishing between the two is important, but difficult.

My fear is that I won’t be able to get back into it with the baby around. He has lots of needs and no defined schedule. I worked best when I made myself sit down and not get up for several hours. I’ve been trying to finish this post for 30min but keep needing to respond to fussy baby everytime I try and write it. He’s happy if I walk around, but stand or sit still to type, and no joy.

I know all it takes is dedication, perseverance and patience, but knowing and doing are different. It will take some time to find my stride again but I’ll get there. I’m eager to write the final chapter (at least for now) of this Aristeia saga.


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2 Responses to Swing of Things

  1. Hilary says:

    So far, I have found that when I’m stuck, it’s either that I don’t know what happens next, or something I’ve already done is wrong/bad (and sometimes the first problem is due to the second problem). The solution I have found to both so far is to ask my characters what’s up and how to fix it. Once so far, the solution been to ask subject matter experts (for an IT problem I was up against).

    Before I even got this far, the problem was lacking enough writing tools to carry me forward. I used to have this “I just don’t know what to DO” feeling – a helpless feeling I had while at the keyboard. Now I know that I can interview my characters, or envision the scene first and then write it out, or take down notes about what will happen next until I have that ‘aha’ that gets me writing again, or just type whatever the heck comes into my head freestyle until something works, or revisit my structure and make sure I’m using ‘goal, problem, reaction’ sequences, or any number of other things to help me get a handle on what to do. Having a good toolbox has been a really big deal for me as a writer.

    Writing issues aside, I hear that newborns have a way of preventing parents from doing anything other than take care of them… but that’s supposed to start to get better in a few months.

    P.S. Ever tried using Dragon Naturally Speaking? You could use it to dictate to your computer while walking around with the baby. I have tried it and I don’t like writing that way (I find the experience of speaking to be utterly unlike the experience of writing) but I know some writers love it.

    • Wayne says:

      I’ve thought about some voice to text software, but everything I’ve tried has been more frustrating than helpful. Many things now work reasonably well for obeying commands, but actual dictation is still elusive.