“If you don’t have a sensation of apprehension when you set out to find a story and a swagger when you sit down to write it, you are in the wrong business.”
- A.M. Rosenthal
Because I wasn’t in the right frame of mine to write after the stressful morning, I decided to cram the remainder of the day with chores. I did laundry, spent way too much time at the post office, food shopped, cooked an elaborate(ish) dinner, and had a cousin over for dinner.
Tuesday didn’t work out. But I vowed WEDNESDAY was going to be THE DAY. Oh yeah.
7:30 am – woke up too early because of the stupid cat.
Got up, had coffee, and caught up on some blogging and e-mails.
9:00 am - declared to my children that I was making myself cereal and it was now my writing time so I didn’t want to be bothered.
9:01 am – the children requested breakfast.
9:05 am – looked over chapters 17-21. If I don’t know what the heck I wrote last, how I am I going to add to this thing?
10:34 am – I begin writing chapter 22. I’m at 28,327.
For the next 5 ½ hours, I write. At 12:30 I stopped for lunch. At 2:30 I figured I should take a shower. At least I had brushed my teeth in the morning.
4:00 pm - By the time I know I’m done for the day, I’ve written 4,292 words, I’ve finished chapter 24. I’m up to 32,646 words. I’m well on my way to the projected 50k.
I feel so good. I’m proud at my accomplishment. Even more, I’m relieved. Since beginning this job in October, I’ve only written about 10k words on this WIP. I wrote almost half that number in one day. It was getting to the point I didn’t really know if I could continue writing.
Okay, that’s a little dramatic. Since I got the job, I wrote a short story that was accepted in an anthology. And I have done some writing. But this is the first manuscript that I haven’t belted out rough (and I mean, rough) draft in about six weeks. Its like I’d lost my moxie. I’ve had all these ideas for Naked Eye, scenes unfolding, but I didn’t have the mental stamina to write them. But today I wrote two big scenes I’ve thought about for months.
When I teach a really good lesson, I can’t imagine not teaching. I get a high while I’m up there and for sometime afterwards. Same if I have a breakthrough with a student. They don’t happen each time I teach or interact with a student.
Those feelings happen virtually every time I write.
So, which job makes me happier?
- The teaching job because I get paid. And I like the subject and the kids
some most of the time.
- The writing job because it feeds my soul.
I don’t pretend there aren’t difficult aspects: editing, harsh critiques, crafting a query, sending said query, receiving rejections, explaining why I’m still not published. But when I’m writing, I’m building something.
As the writing day wore on, I got giddy. I posted word count updates on Facebook even though I’m sure nobody else cared. My main character, Lucienne has a story to tell but I’ve been stifling her. Back in the fall, I had wanted to bring this manuscript to the NESCBWI conference this May. But I’ve already registered and already had to send my query for the quick query and 10 pages of my manuscript for the critique. I had to send “completed” work. Several days ago, I didn’t have faith that the WIP would be completed in time.
I have to make time for this because I feel better. The weight of the words has been partially lifted. Today I can breathe.
What role does writing play in your life?