It’s been… a month and a half since I finished the first draft of The Black Sun.
I haven’t looked at it yet. Soon. As soon as I’ve actually started the Violet Lane rewrite… which I wanted to be working on by now, but I spent most of this week with a minor-but-annoying cold that slowed my progress. But it’s going to happen! The outline is taking shape - I broke out the index cards late last week - and I hope to be able to start the actual writing by the end of next week.
Actually, I’m going to put it out there: I am going to start the actual writing by the end of next week.
February was one of those months that just… didn’t work for me. That one week in the middle - something like a vacation, but not quite - threw me off my game for the entire month. I had a hard time being productive the week before (because I knew I’d be taking a break, so I didn’t want to build momentum only to lose it again), and I struggled to find my stride again after.
I really need to find a way to work around interruptions like that. They’re a real struggle for me, and I’ve never been able to figure out a way to integrate them into my creative process.
If January taught me anything, it’s that I need to have some kind of well-defined photography project if I’m going to keep shooting. And I need to make a public commitment to that project. Without those two things, I really struggle to stay on track with any of my photography goals.
In other words, it wasn’t a good month for me as a photographer.
On Monday, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be meeting my self-imposed deadline to finish this story, despite the commitment I made last week. It wasn’t that there was a lot of story left to go, just… the story that was left was a bit daunting. This was the final set piece, the ultimate confrontation, and I knew it would be draining. And it was.
But I did it.
I have been so lazy this week.
I intentionally took Tuesday off from writing (I had reasons. They were good, and I stand by them), and my schedule on Wednesday meant that my head wasn’t in the game, and I’m not writing today because (apparently) my brain just doesn’t work that way on Fridays, no matter how much I want it to.
So I only wrote two days this week. But they were good days!
I am officially back on track with my story! My writing sessions still aren’t quite as long as I’d like, but they’re perfectly reasonable, and the words are flowing nicely again.
And it’s not a minute too soon - I’ve reached the point where everything is falling apart (in the best possible way), and I’m feeling really good going into this last stretch. It's a fun story to write.
After taking some time off over the holidays, I’m starting to ease back into writing again. (Technically speaking, I started last week, but that was only two very short writing sessions, so I’m not counting it.)
It’s been… interesting.
The last few years, I’ve chosen a watchword to take me into the new year, a small mantra to remind me of my goals, both big and small.
I keep sitting down to write this post, and it keeps not happening. There’s part of me that feels like it’s not time, yet: I haven’t finished writing the story, so how can I possibly think about any of this objectively? I didn’t write the postmortem for last year’s project until I’d finished the draft, and that worked out well enough. But this isn’t about the story, it’s about the experience.
And this year was a very different experience from last year.
I went in confident that I could do it. Last year was... I won’t say “easy,” but it was fairly straightforward. I wrote nearly every day, and I stayed pretty much on-target as far as word-count went, and then I crashed as soon as I hit 50K, because I’d had a cold for the last few days of the month and the only thing that kept me going was stubbornness.
This year wasn’t like that. At all.