I haven’t written in four days. This is nearly unthinkable for me. I’ve skipped one or two days before, at least in the morning, but almost always found a way to make up for it.
Partially due to fatigue (sleep debt mounting up like woah), but largely due to work-related stress (websitegeddon), I’ve been oversleeping a lot lately (by which I mean sleeping until 6a), and when I do make time to sit down at the computer (and I do!), I end up distracted by work-related problems. Or computer admin stuff. Seriously, I spent three hours on Saturday trying to delete duplicate files out of an external hard drive. I have a bad habit of throwing folders on that drive as backups before I do computer upgrades, and never returning to manage the file tree. But now I have over three gigabytes of files that I need to transmit to a former freelance client and I’m pretty sure one or two gigs of that are duplicate copies of the same two backups.
It’s hard to think of all the above as procrastination. Easier to recognize it as an inability to draw a line between work and personal life. Especially when, if I want to be a published writer, writing is (by definition if not spirit) work.
So I’m at the computer, and I’m working. But I’m not writing.
Part of the ease of mis-directed efforts comes from the fact that I’m in a bit of a limbo. Book 2 Draft 1 (B2D1) is complete, and I need to go over it with my editor. I don’t want to change anything before we talk about it. Mostly because I suspect it needs a full re-write. So why bother meddling when I can wait, get directed feedback, and proceed with better understanding of where this draft went astray? We may or may not get to talking about it during our next session (scheduled for the 20th).
So that leaves me with Ehl’i Landor, as far as creative drafting is concerned. And I seem stuck in an infinite loop of editing/revising my first story. It’s a short story series, which means each piece needs more concentrated quality than a full novel, so revising is good. Right? But at some point I should probably go over it with my coaching editor. Before that, I want to get further along with the stories so the visible plot begins to develop. But I’m stuck revising. Infinite loop. GOTO 10.
I had a coaching session this weekend, and we went over the query letters I wrote for FLOTSAM in October. There was enough there to work with, but we decided to put a lightning rod on the roof and see if we can’t Dr. Frankenstein up a new beast from the functioning pieces scattered across ten different letters.
Yesterday I woke up feeling ill, and couldn’t bear to sit up and try to use my brain. By the time I managed the gut issues with ACV and chamomile tea, I was at my day job.
Today, two working days later, I finally sat down to implement the advice provided. As soon as I started, I got smacked in the face with the cold, wet fish of Imposter Syndrome.
I know that’s largely because I’m working off specific corrections. I know I have a tendency to write sentences that are too long and slow for a query letter. Which means, over and over, I type a sentence, judge it as lacking, and then delete it.
Probably not the best way to re-approach writing sessions after an extended break.
So, what’s my plan? I don’t know. I’m writing this blog post to chronicle this point in time, and also because I set myself a goal of posting about my process every Tuesday. So there’s my process at the moment.
My wheels are spinning in the mud. Try to stand where you won’t get splattered.
As for me, my shirt is ruined.