Writing Update–May 1, 2011

This was just one of those weeks where real writing (as in increasing word count) didn’t happen. The world was conspiring against me. I will now begin to list my excuses reasons why writing did not happen:

1. My writing laptop has been acting very strange, and I spent a lot of my ‘writing’ time either trying to diagnose the issues, or shopping for a new laptop. It started going funny a couple of months ago when the audio jack started buzzing very loudly when I had headphones plugged in. To remedy that, I bought a cheap USB audio port adapter, but that doesn’t allow me to control the volume, and if I set my sound levels at anything but 1, my eardrums take a pounding. A couple of weeks ago, the laptop completely froze up, and required a hard boot to reset. That happened twice more last weekend. Then yesterday, the laptop was working, but the sound shut off.  I’ve run a lot of diagnostics on the memory and the disk, and checked the error logs, but nothing is showing up, which leads me to believe that the motherboard is the problem, and that means the thing is probably toast. Of course, the warranty expired six months ago. Now the debate is how long can I live with a laptop I don’t trust. Not long I guess, because fear of using it is now becoming an excuse for not writing. I’ll probably break down an buy one very soon, but I have a hard time justifying more significant expenses for my writing when I have yet to make a dime from it.

2. I drove to work three times this week.  Due to my recovery from my foot surgery in March, I’m still not able to take the train because of the amount of walking involved, though I hope to start riding again late this week if the doctor give me clearance to begin walking normally on Tuesday. Driving to work sucks up two hours of every day, and that comes directly at the expense of my writing (along with $16 worth of gas per day and $11 to park… and oh yeah, the $475 for new tires yesterday and the $1700 in transmission repairs I need to do to my 11 year old truck sometime in the next few months.)

3. The time I did have for writing I used to re-read the first 35000 words of the book. I did some heavy editing and added a new chapter in the middle. My word count didn’t change a lot this week (perhaps 2000 words total), but I did cut and edit quite a bit that I would have had to do after I finished the first draft.  Hopefully the next revision won’t take so long.

4. I’ve been staying up late to watch too many movies on the weekend (most of them bad) and then watching episodes of Eureka or Sons of Anarchy after that, so I am less enthusiastic about getting up early on weekend mornings to write.

5. It also doesn’t help that my kids are getting up by 6:00 AM and are less willing to watch their morning shows and like to come right downstairs and hang out with me or have an early breakfast. While that’s usually pretty fun time, it’s not conducive to getting into the writing zone.

One the good side of things, we bought a new keyboard for our desktop PC, a Logitech Illuminated Ultrathin Keyboard with Backlighting which I absolutely love. I swear it has doubled my typing speed through softer keystrokes and lower keys.  It also looks really freaking cool in my writing cave home office. I’m almost to the point where I prefer to type on it, rather than use my laptop, but my desktop PC is nowhere near as portable.

I am still struggling with the plot transition in my book that I did a couple of weeks ago to split the book into two. I’m not doubting that this was the right thing to do. I’m just having a problem getting the characters to do things that forward the plot without a lot of telling. I need to power through this. Sometimes just writing for the sake of writing will get me through issue like this, and I can do that much better when I am writing regularly. I am really looking forward to riding the train again, for so many reasons.

My original goal at the start of this year was to have the first draft done by the end of April. Now, my goal has changed to be mid June.  If I could get back to writing two thousand words a day, I could conceivably have it done my the end of May, but this book isn’t flying off my fingertips like the last one. Maybe I’m being to self-critical while I write (analysis paralysis), or maybe the story just isn’t as good (a fear I think I’ve had on every book at some point).

So between technical issues and editing and writer’s angst, I’ve dug myself a bit of a hole in the last week. I’m going to beat my excuses into submission today, and get some real work done. Here’s hoping things go to plan.

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