In which Your Humble Blogger shares with you what she wrote during the last week of July and the entire month of August:
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Yep, that's right, nothing typed out ahead of the asterisks today. That's because during the time frame mentioned above, nothing really got written.
In his book On Writing, Stephen King suggests the importance of establishing a regular time and a regular place for getting your writing done each day. I agree with him, especially when we're talking about writers who are just starting out and getting into the habit of writing seriously. It may seem to take the fun out of the act, but a routine does promote discipline, and if you're intent on refining your art and having it remain an essential part of your life, you have to approach it with discipline. At least I think so. It's right for me, let's say that. :D
Trips and conventions sure mess with your regular routine, though, don't they? You're in a new place, and all sorts of events are going on around you, so your usual schedule goes way out the window, and sometimes, when you're crashing somewhere, you're sharing a small space with several people who operate way differently than you do. As inspirational as spending a week in San Diego for Comic-Con and seeing the work of so many talented artists is, it didn't really help me actually set aside time to produce any work of my own last year.
That wouldn't have been much of an issue if the week in San Diego hadn't been followed by a month out of state for work.
I had known since the year before that I would have to make that work trip. Both Wes and I were part of a crew tasked with labeling, identifying, and organizing the items in Marvel's inventory of archived materials. The work started in 2008, continued in 2009 -- we didn't finish it then, so we knew we'd have to return to the warehouse in 2010. We were originally hoping that the trip would only take two weeks, but we ended up getting scheduled to be there for a month.
And it wasn't all terrible -- it was time away from the computer, we were paid well for our work, and I got to see the other guys on the crew, whom I seriously love hanging out with; they're a standup bunch. But the work itself is frustrating, not something I'm particularly good at or helpful with, and the schedule was very different from the work hours I normally keep. I also had trouble sleeping while I was there -- a few of you have an idea of how much trouble I have sleeping regularly to begin with.
In short, I couldn't get my shit together enough to write as I had been writing before I left. Oh, sure, I tried some nights. I ended up producing a few royal stinkbombs, such as:
One at a time, down the road.
One person in each.
Let them arrive, same time,
same destination -- it's not far --
and let the headlights shine
on the detail
that endless sunbeams
have left for them blunted:
the ground at the end
is quite unpaved.
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I mean, seriously, what the hell was that about? It was all the more disappointing in light of the breakthrough that I felt I had with "Departure," and it -- the trips, the time away -- left me fearing that I didn't have the tenacity needed to consider myself a writer and that all of the potential I had built up was gone.