More Progress:Laying It Out the Night Before

A few posts ago I mentioned that it had taken me a few hours and 1300 words to get into a hug.

Well, then it didn’t take me long to move that into a kiss, but it took me a few days to get that the way I wanted it, and I’m still not happy, and then to get back out of it again.

And then last night I was struggling to move to the next location and the next thing we have to face.

By this time, the whole thing was feeling pretty strained and patchy to me.

Then this morning I got up, opened up my laptop, and wrote almost 3000 words.  Sure, there were a few breaks to feed the toddler, feed the dog, avert various disasters, but by 10:30 I was finished.

And what  a feeling to just write it out all at once and be done with it.  I wouldn’t call it the zone.  Not at all.  There was still a lot of pondering, a lot of trying to figure out just what to say, which word to use, etc.  But it was still nice, just to work.  I mean, think of it, if we could always work at the rate of 1000 words/hour, we could finish a first draft a month, easily.  (Yes, I know there are people who do this.  I suspect that they are aliens.)

But anyway, I was giving some thought to what makes this happen some days.  I know that I do my best writing in the morning.  I’m not quite awake, not quite logical when I start out.  I’m alone, the house is quiet.  Often when my dd does get up, she is quiet for a while because she’s not quite awake either.  But what makes the difference between the mornings where I am actually productive and the ones where I stare blankly at the blankness for a while before I end up spending the morning reading other people’s blogs?

Well, last night, right before I went to bed, I went over the whole scene with Kettle.  Not writing it, but writing about. 

Pot (me): Well, I think they get there, and she’s feeling like this, and these people are milling about…

Kettle: k, you said something about x before.  What does that look like?

P: Yeah, right.  Well, it’s like this.  And then they get out of the car, and I guess people would run up on them, and this guy would say this, and this little conversation would happen.

K: Good.  Now you had said that the air was wet was it going to rain?  Was it just from the dew?

[I actually missed that until I perused the chat again this morning, and I think including the weather made a nice difference.]

So the chat went on like that, as we often do, and she would ask me questions to help me flesh it out, and when I was stuck I’d ask her opinion- do you think he’d do this or that?  And by the time 12:30AM rolled around (!!) I had a full set of notes to sleep on.  So when I got up this morning, even though I wasn’t really raring to go, I sort of felt like I was OBLIGATED to get myself going and have something to show her when she woke up.  And once I made myself get going, it wasn’t so hard at all. 

So, morals to the story:

1. It helps me to lay things out the night before so that in the morning I can just write.  It’s both like having an assignment for the next day, but also like laying out clothes and having your lunch already made the night before so you can roll out of bed, zip through your morning, and get out the door.

2. Everyone should have a Kettle.

3. This one is mine; go get your own.

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Filed under progress update, wotm, writing

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