When I sit down in the morning, ready for a day’s writing work, the first thing I do is read over what I wrote yesterday, ostensibly to know what I’m going to write that day. After reading, and doing a wee bit of revising, then I take some deep breaths. And what the page looks like is this:
Well, it’s not quite a vacant quilt wall, but man, that’s how it feels. Even though I have *plenty* to write, it’s a small wonder that I get it done, when the story is more than a little overwhelming. Now the notes at the end of my document have grown; I think I’ve decided to not write them in longhand, although familial details are being scrawled in a notebook to my left, things like names of Stanford’s sisters, Sam and Renee’s siblings, Laurie’s too. Most of those are being made up on the fly, the consequence of pantsing a novel, well, mostly pantsing it. Does knowing how it ends make a story planned or pantsed?
I’m not sure. But at this point, it matters very little. Every day, or most of them, I sit. And I write. Yesterday and Sunday were big word days, 11K between them. Today’s output was a more sedate 3,7 something-something, which was also fortuitous as I had errands to run, not all morning to write. I love it when the writing happens to facilitate my life.
Because sometimes it doesn’t.
Yet, I don’t avoid the chair. I plop my keister right into it, opening that document, reading over the previous chapter, then inhaling deeply, exhaling afterward. Somehow, some way, those pages fill up, looking much like this:
Dude! How in the world did that happen? Now, it doesn’t always end up so, well, filled. Occasionally the quilt wall, and the chapter, is more like so:
But either way, the sense of accomplishment is the same; again, I managed to further the story. And with this novel, furthering the plot is about all I can consider. It’s a square by square sort of wall being built, yet the cool part is while I know the end, I’m not sure how it’s going to look.
Now, that’s not very quilt-like at all, but novels aren’t always like quilts. Novels aren’t visual, in the presentation. They are word by word, which at times feels like brick by brick, falling on my toes, and I can’t jump away fast enough, ouch! But yesterday I pounded out over 6,000 of those words, and not all of them were bad. In fact, many of them were pretty nice. Sometimes that happens in a first draft. They’re not cruddy all the way through.
But then that makes the new day’s work a little more daunting; if yesterday’s was that, well, not bad, how can I manage to top it? Sometimes I don’t. That’s another part of just sitting in the chair; accepting that not every day is going to be stellar. Sometimes, ahem, it’s gonna suck.
Yet, the chair beckons. I need to sit, no, I must sit. I must sit. And write. And when I’m done, I’ll do something else. Like quilt, hehehe. Or watch tennis or baseball, or clean, yuck. But yeah, there is life beyond the written word.
Still, I will just sit. And write. (And clean when I’m bored…)