Writing Update: April 11, 2011

You would think that being stuck at home recovery from surgery would offer me plenty of time to write.  Heck, I even thought that.  I thought I would get writing done in the morning, work my cushy day job from the comfort of my home office, then flip the switch and write some more, and presto, two thousand words a day and a novel in six weeks.  I might even write two.

Here’s the dirty little secret about working from home.  If you’re like me, you work a full eight hours, and then you work a little more because you took those ten minutes to throw a load into the laundry and to run the dishwasher.  And then you work a little more because stopping at 3:30 in the afternoon seems a little early, even though you’ve been at it since 7:00AM.  So eight hours creeps towards nine.  And then you’re so exhausted because you’ve probably only gotten up to go to the bathroom, once, maybe twice, and you ate lunch standing up at the counter in the kitchen because that might be the moment someone sends you an urgent email.  And your breakfast dish is still next to the mouse pad with dried on yogurt and granola and you’re trying to remember “Was that from this morning?  Or yesterday?”

So you’re tired when four o’clock comes around, and you can’t possibly spend another moment in front of the computer.  You’ll just take fifteen minutes, and sit on the couch and zzz… wha?  The kids are home already?  Dinner?  I was supposed to have dinner ready?  Right.  I’ll write after dinner.  Except I’m not a night person.  I can’t write at night.  I can barely walk at night.  And the wife, she wants to watch another episode of Eureka on Netflix.  And since we’re watching it together, I can’t miss it.  So no writing gets done that day.  But tomorrow will be different.  What? A doctor’s appointment?  I have to go in to the office?  I can’t take the train?  When am I going to get to write?

That was my first week or so of working from home.  I managed to get a few thousand words into the cracks in the day, mainly by getting up a little earlier, or staying home while my wife took the kids somewhere on the weekend.  But it wasn’t consistent, and I started to… gulp… miss my regular commute with its 70 minutes of guaranteed writing time.

But the last two mornings, I set the alarm for my normal, get on the train wake up time (5:20), splashed some water on my face, and headed down to the comfy chair in my office to write before the work day began, and got in a solid 90 minutes of writing before breakfast.  This morning, that led to about 1500 words.  Not bad.  But seriously, I thought working from home would mean I could sleep in and be there when my kids came in for their morning cuddle.  That’s not happening either.

The current work in progress is around 28000 words now.  The plot is a little different than I first thought it would be, and I’m really starting to wonder if I haven’t got another two-parter, or maybe a series.  I mean, I‘m creating a pretty big world here.  It would be a shame to waste it on just one story.  But as my agent said (I love that I can say that), if you haven’t got the first book, you haven’t got the second.  Right now, the story feels a little choppy, but there is definitely room for it to grow, both in what I have already written, and where I need to get it in the next 50000 words or so.  Maybe it will go a little shorter than 80000. I don’t know.  I’m just going to keep writing to see where these characters end up.  It feels a little dangerous, and I do worry, constantly, that its not as good as my last book, but I remember thinking that about my last book too, and it seems to have turned out okay.

Let’s see if I can’t get 2000 tomorrow.