Sunday, May 8, 2011

Exhaustion, recharging, and splitting wood

I haven't blogged since Thursday.  While there's no promise in this blog that the frequency will necessarily be any faster, I've been doing pretty well at keeping this relatively daily in nature.  I apologize for the slippage. 

Fact is, I got exhausted.  For the past month, I've had project after project hammer me in my day job, keeping me working 60-70 hours per week, and every weekend has had some sort of event: daughter's birthday, Easter, prom, school play, etc.  I used to recharge my batteries from a long week at work by sitting in my pajamas playing computer games for a substantial part of the weekend.  Since I learned to love writing, I've been recharging by sitting in my pajamas and putting out tens of thousands of words of prose.  Unfortunately, with the pace I've been keeping, I've found it necessary to recharge instead by putting my head on a pillow and closing my eyes.

There's an inherent tradeoff between writing creatively and blogging.  Writing creatively about writing creatively still represents not only an enjoyable pastime but also a useful exercise in which I talk about what I've been going through. I've already had the opportunity, in fact, to go back to some of my earlier blogs and learn a bit from them.  The problem is that the time I spend on writing about writing is time I don't spend on writing.  When I knock out a couple of thousand words in a night, I enjoy sitting down to write a thousand word blog.  When I'm too tired, though, to do more than a couple of hundred words, something must give, and for the past couple of days, it's been the blog.  Again, I apologize.

Today, I grabbed the muse and ran with it.  It was fulfilling to once again pull down nearly ten thousand words in a day, and even more so considering I did it in a small part of a day...the large part being devoted to my wife's Mother's Day.   I got up and wrote, and then went to brunch, and then went to paint ceramics (that being something my lovely bride loves to do), and came back home and continued to write.  Now, as I blog in preparation for closing the night out, I'm proud of the amount of prose I've committed to bytes. 

How does that happen?  In part, it boils back down to "write what you know."  I've been mired in topics I had to research or think about...questions that came up requiring a bit of further fleshing out of my world's rules of magic, for example, or simple questions of Ireland or Scotland or Italy.  But today and tonight I got into a topic I know well, and the words flew out at a truly pleasing rate as a result. 

What topic?  Believe it or not, splitting wood.  I used to split wood every weekend to heat my home back when I lived in Trapper Creek, so I know the subject well, and I know what makes people successful at it...and what makes it suck.  So when my heroine has to learn to do it, I know how to tell the story.  It's great, how sometimes the story actually tells itself. 

Tomorrow, I'm on to parts that I know a bit less of, but those promise to be fun as well.  For tonight, I am pleased with what I've accomplished. 

Word Count: 50,124

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