Inspired by Snow

So today I wrote a little bit. However, I find I am inspired most by the fact that snow is falling on New York City on what is certainly the night where most Halloween parties are going be thrown. BHE and I have not one but two parties to go to tonight, and boy am I pleased my costume is warm (unlike the guy is wearing in this picture). I like that is happening, and I might just use it in my novel. The first snow on the eve of such an important event certainly has special seduction powers.

Exciting!

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Crossed out

So this is a screenshot of my writing today. You might notice that all of it is crossed out. This is not uncommon for me on Fridays. I decided to try and combat this usual slump, but varying my day up a little. I slept in, hoping this would help, but I am pretty sure it was a bad decision. I just didn’t hit my zone. I basically kept very little that I did today, but I am telling myself that is fine. I got a lot done this week, and I think I am just tired of writing right now. The next segment is the set-up to the climax, wherein a problem i have been waiting to introduce is finally unearthed. While this is exciting, it is also exhausting. I know tomorrow I will not write at all, but in a way, that is a good thing. Tomorrow is full of Halloween themed events, and I am certain they will inspire me. My novel’s climax is slated to actually occur tomorrow, so I look forward to experiencing the day and night in every way possible. In addition, I get to revive my Halloween costume from last year, and be Sweeney Todd again.

I do wonder why it is Friday is just bad for me as a writer. I don’t have a weekend to look forward to in the same way as everyone else. I mean yes, it means more time with BHE, and it means I get to talk to people more. I guess I suffer from burn out from working on it all week, but this week, I was kind of burned out a lot.

I’ve noticed one trend in my writing. I’m trying to write to avoid editing later. This means I am working very hard on polished prose, which is really a writing recipe for delay. I have tried to convince myself “not to care” but that is what got me through much of this draft. Now, I feel like I need to care, to make sure the ending is really sound. Hopefully, this weekend will loosen me up a bit.

Back on Track

As I had hoped, I am back on track story wise. I wrote 1100 words today. I probably would have written more, BUT, Microsoft Word gave me the following error message:

There are too many spelling or grammatical errors in [document] to continue displaying them. To check the spelling and grammar of this document, choose Spelling and Grammar from the Tools menu.

This meant I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to make them show up again. Most of the “errors” they report is grammar related. Word does not like dramatic short statements like: “The golden boy.” or things of that sort. They also hate all colloquial ways of speaking.

After digging around on the internet, I was sad to not find a way to fix the issue. So I decided to start another word document. I don’t like doing this. It makes it feels like a recipe for disaster, like things will get lost.  I am going to have to be even more diligent about backing things up, and copying and pasting the new work into the old work document. I want to know how my total word count is going at all times.

Still, these are rather good problems. My story is over 100 single space 12 font pages in Word. I’ve never gotten close to that in other times. For once, giving up is not a real option. Hopefully I won’t stumble much more on my way to the end of my first rough draft.

Word count fail!

So it is 3:00 p.m. today. Normally at this point I’ve written 1000+ words, but today I have yet to even open the document. This pretty much assures that I am not going to write anything today. This is really disappointing to me, as I have normally managed to work on my novel every day, but today it just was not going to happen. I Part of it is I don’t know how to end the scene I am working on. I know I need to do that in order to get onto the rest of the story which is so clear, but I can’t seem to forge the few feet of rail that connects the two tracks.

On days like this I try to tell myself not to worry too much. That things will be fine, but I’ve been having issues the past two days. I don’t know what I need to do in order to find my center once again. With my self-imposed deadline, I keep thinking it will force me to get back in the game, but I also think the fact it is looming is starting to depress me. I’ve had a very crazy year, with amazing successes and epic failures. I hope things are better tomorrow, and I mean that. I have genuine hope, that tomorrow some new pieces of my nearly completed puzzle will show themselves.

Word count for the day: 0

The Return to the Stage

Not an actual photo of me

So, I’ve been writing a book about the life of the theatre, but I haven’t been in a show in a year. Whereas much of the work is utter fiction, it has been informed by my 20 years of stage experience. However, lately, the story has seemed to be less and less authoritative, as I get closer to the end. Still I was really hesitant to do another show.

I am unemployed, and for that reason, I consider writing selfish. BBE (well I guess now that we are married he is BHE) is working hard to support us, and I’m working hard on balancing an aggressive job hunt and finishing my novel. So the idea of doing a show has felt like it was more than I could handle. Especially since doing a show for free costs a lot of money for me. However, I also felt that doing it, might help me out in a lot of ways. It would give me a schedule, physical activity, and inspiration. It was also hard for me to acknowledge that 2011 would be the first year in 18 years that I had not performed on stage. So, when I saw a posting for a theatrical company looking for male actors, I decided I would audition. The phrase that caught my attention the most was

“We are always looking to form lasting relationships with our collaborators, and hope to find actors that interested in the same.”

While this kind of language can be found in many theatre companies, I was drawn to this statement for this ad. If they needed male actors, and were serious about this desire, I might find a place in NYC, that thinks of me once in a while for a show. As I turned 30 this year, it is undeniable that I am aging out of the roles I know how to play well. Many roles are now open to me, but it will require people to take a chance on me. That’s what every actor requires, but in the business, you know what have to understand what your own limitations are. Even if I did everything perfectly in an audition, there are some characters it would be laughable for me to play. While this is hard to face, I don’t really take it personally. I don’t do theatre to be THE STAR. I do it to tell a story, and the story is going to be told better, if the audience doesn’t have to suspend their disbelief unnecessarily.

I was particularly excited because it is a new work. My book involves people putting on a new show, which I have less experience with. I am hoping this will help fill in some details. In many ways this is research, but also something personally fulfilling. Since getting married, I’ve been lazy about exercise. Now that I am in a show, I am hoping I will be inspired to work out some more.

I hope doing this show is the right choice.

For those of whom would like to know more about the show itself, you can learn all about it by clicking the image below.

Distraction

So, with all my job hunting today, I got distracted.  I wrote 1,200 words today, but i could easily have kept going, but I ran out of steam. Why? I got distracted! I really want to earn some money, and although I did get a paycheck today, I kept thinking about how I was going to sell this novel. Selling it will require hours of revising and editing, so I spent a lot of today looking at the first chapter of my book, and trying to whip it into shape. This is not a bad use of my time, but it is not what I should be focusing on. I may need to disconnect myself from the internet entirely while I write.

Today I wrote 1,200 words.

Consequences of pushing hard

Today my word count was higher than expected, and while I was pleased with the fact that my story is progressing, I can already tell that a lot of what I wrote today will need a heavy revision. Usually this would deter me,  making me annoyed that to some degree i am rushing through parts. The timing of my novel is always something that trips me up, I am doing so many moments blow by blow, that I feel guilty about speeding up. Of course, even though my book only takes place over a few months, no one wants to read about every second of everyday. I understand that books sometimes have to do this, at least in the first draft, and giving myself permission has been a big weight off my shoulders.

I am definitely starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t exactly figured out how my climax is going to fit in, but it is definitely getting closer.

That said, I think my focus on word count hurt me a little today. I was starting to lose the ability at 1,450 words today, and I decided i should eat lunch (it being 2 pm) and take a walk. This practice really helped, but I believed I could push myself further than I really could. The result? Editing this later is going to be harder, and it might possibly paralyze me. I’ll have to figure out how to make it work.  Thus I left myself the following note:

[Author note: October 5, 2011– I wrote this, and I like a lot of it. That said, if this needs to be cut and redone, know that this is okay. Read your blog entry on this day.]

Today I wrote 1,864 words in my novel.

In it to win it

So over the past few days I’ve managed to make some pretty good progress on my novel. I’m currently sitting at around 55,000 words, and I feel like the sweet spot I am aiming for (around 85,000) is finally within reach. Doing the math, and understanding that I am only shooting for a complete first draft, I figure in 30 days I will be able to complete this thing.  I tend to write more during the week, as I write while BBE is continuing his best boyfriend routine and earning a living while I job hunt. I’ve started applying for jobs in the morning, breaking, and then giving myself creative permission. Part of me has started to believe that there is something in the cosmos, that is holding back that dream job, till I get this novel finished.

In many ways, my life has imitated my art, having a dream snatched from under me. I found this to be paralyzing, but now that I’ve managed to work through that to some degree, I’m wondering if I need to be able to capture it on the page, before the cure (also known as a full-time job) is presented to me.

I really got a lot out of posting my tiny piece yesterday, and thanks especially to Katherine for her response. I have found once I hit 1600+ words, the writing I do takes a big nose dive in productivity. Fortunately, my brain seems to be able to keep track of where i was, and what i was thinking, when I sit down the next day, but I fear that I’ll hit a wall again soon. Therefore, I’m hoping that, by blogging it out after I’ve hit my word count for the day, I will be able to keep up my momentum.

Today I wrote 1,700 words in my novel.

Words of Wisdom?

So I haven’t been posting a lot here. I’m sure no one has noticed, but I felt the need to put something out in the larger universe to tell everyone I’m still here. I’ve been a bit more guarded about my work lately, because i think it is getting to a point where I should be. That said, here is something I thought I’d throw out there, and see what people thought.

“Yes. Thanks.” I say, but after I’ve stepped outside, I turn around. “Lycan, can I ask you something?”

“Of course.”

“What am I going to say when I get home?”

“Even the sturdiest of ships, bend and break in a storm. Repairs are quick and crude, but assure the journey can continue. When the seas are calmer, the crew works to refine and restore what they once had. They reinforce parts, to assure they never break again, but the new wood can take years to blend in with the rest.” Lycan replies, and while I ponder what he means, he simply shuts the door.

I think it is lovely, except for the word “parts” but i couldn’t think of something better. I would love suggestions.

Also, in case you missed my post on facebook. I am currently seeking Beta-readers for my nearly completed first draft. If you are interested, let me know.