Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The joy of writing

Today reminded me why I'm doing this. 

I had a really awful day at work today.  It started with a miscommunication over the weekend that resulted in me stuffing 44 paying students into a classroom large enough for 36.  Not just any students, either, but professional nurses from the area who were taking a review class to prepare for their licensing exam, and our management had offered to host the class on our campus for once.  Oops.  I was, however, able to quickly shuffle everybody around and get them into a right-size room at their first break. 

Meanwhile, the group that I'd shuffled out of their regular classroom decided to have a party in the new room, and a student spilled a 2 liter of Sprite on the floor.  Only...she didn't just spill it.  When I walked in for my class that was to run right after, the Sprite was up to 1/4 inch thick in some spots and stretched twenty feet from wall to desk.  So I did what any good Dean would do...I went and got the mop.  I think I taught my class something really important in doing so, incidentally.  One of them asked me if I was "pissed off" and I got to explain that that emotion has no place in a work environment, mostly because it doesn't do anything good.  Whether I or anybody else "got pissed," the fact was that a classroom had a floor full of Sprite that needed to be cleaned up.  Luckily I'd planned a guest speaker anyway, so he spoke, and I mopped, and I got it cleaned.

Then the fight broke out.  Apparently a few students had been picking at each other, and the teacher made the mistake of leaving the room for a minute or two to get something.  Next thing you know, a pretty good student and two pretty crappy ones were fighting.  I heard more curse words in that 10 minutes than I've heard in several months, and that's a lot. 

Wouldn't you know it...it was in the room right across the hall from the nurses.  I just can't win some days.

The day did slowly improve from that point, especially after I got some headache drugs in me.  But we had managed to schedule a month end, a fiscal quarter end, an academic module end, a nursing semester end, and a new module launch, all on the same two days.  Pretty stupid, in retrospect, but it had me there till 10:00 tonight getting everything set up for tomorrow.  That's a 14 hour day of playing custodian, referee, disciplinarian, leader, and manager. 

I've had days this long/bad before, and usually by the time I get home I'm just ready to drink heavily and then go to bed.  Tonight was different.  I really, really, really, wanted to get back to my book.  It's funny how addictive the process is.  I really enjoyed getting the story out onto paper, but I thought that the revising process would be mundane and maybe even boring.  It's not.  I find myself going back through the story I've been telling, revisiting each scene, and finding a new way to enjoy it even more.  I'm cleaning the language up substantially, removing all the apparentlys and seeminglys and other weak crap, instead letting the nouns and verbs carry the day without much interference.  It's really making the story pop. 

Honestly, I'm enjoying the hell out of it. 

I'm getting back to word count, too, because a) the revision process is now adding a significant number of words, and b) it's going to be a much longer book than I'd originally thought (though it's made up for by having one instead of three books).  You won't see it increment as quickly as before, and that's OK, because what I'm adding is story, while what I'm deleting is fluff...those "needless words" that Strunk & White told me to omit.  But it is going up, and I'm thrilled at that. 

This writing stuff really is fun.

Word count: 71,375

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1 comment:

  1. Your progress is so fun to watch. Your growth has been amazing! Keep going!