I’ve had a blog in the works for a while now that requires more time and attention than I am currently willing to give it, so instead you have this marginal, semi-justified excuse instead of something thought-provoking.
I’ve been writing. I suppose that much is a given, but I’ve really been writing. At least 2,000 words a day, sometimes more on good days, sometimes a little less on the particularly bad (or none at all on the rare day off when my brain stops working and requires complete lethargy in order to begin the regenerative process). I think this is a fairly healthy amount on a daily basis when it comes to fiction. Sometimes it goes quick, on the order of a couple hours, whereas other times it can be a grueling all-day affair. It’s been less of a fight lately, though, and I am very grateful for that. I seem to be on a roll.
I’m dividing my time mostly between work on some short stories that I hope to send to several publications and work on a new novel that began as a short story then refused to shut up. Things went south after a side character who was supposed to die decided she was going to be contrary and just dust herself off after the ordeal. I hadn’t expected that, and it turned out that she and her co-protagonist had more to say than I gave them credit for. So after a brief apology for trying to kill her—and this is by no means a guarantee that I won’t try again—we were back on our way, exploring a new world together. It’s … different. The place the story began and the place that it went were both surprises, and I think that’s important. That’s the exciting part about writing for me. To relentlessly plot something is to remove from it the joy of discovery.
Beyond that, life continues roughly as normal. I spend between 4 to 7 hours every day at Roots Coffeehouse and the North Richland Hills Public Library mostly ignoring people in favor of working, though occasionally someone will offer me a compliment on a goofy shirt or marvel at the fact that I’m writing a novel on an iPod Touch via a wireless keyboard. That seems to get a lot of attention wherever I go, and because of my ingenious keyboard tray (the box that the keyboard came in, with a little piece of cardboard to hold the lid open taped to the back with electrician’s tape), some unpleasant attention at the airport while they made sure I wasn’t a terrorist.
I haven’t had any luck finding a job, as most of the writing jobs out there seem to want a ton of experience, don’t pay anything to make it worth the trouble, or are lousy jobs writing ad copy that would probably depress me. Let’s just hope that before too long someone will decide I’m the next [famous author] and start throwing money at me; because barring that, I may have to start marinading carpet-sample squares for future meals.
[This post originally appeared on theflyingmonkeyapparatus.com.]