Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Formula

Good Lord - I sat in my office chair for twelve hours yesterday, working the entire time. At 1, driven by the extreme pangs of hunger, I went and draped some Muenster cheese over a piece of bread and devoured it in front of the monitor (note to self, clean the keyboard again.)

At the end of the day I did some instant messaging with Danielle Raver, the author of Brother, Betrayed. I love Danielle: she has boundless energy as well as a fulltime job and two babies. How does she write long, involved classic fantasy novels with incredible battle scenes, I wonder? But I digress.....

Danielle and I were moaning about the difficulty of getting anything done. Because, as I IM'd away, I realized the word count I had achieved after those twelve hours was Zero. Zilch. Nothing.

Now, the formula, as I have mentioned here before, is butt + chair = written work. However, that formula didn't work yesterday. Well, why was that?

Perhaps, Danielle explained patiently, just maybe you need to set aside some time for writing. Don't even open up your browser. Just  get in there and write.

Shocker, right? Here's another thing - it works. I got up today, made a cup of tea, sent the kid off on the bus, showered, and sat down to work.

My hand hovered over the Firefox icon.  NO, I went to my manuscript instead. (I'm trying to make writing sound as dramatic as possible, here; it's probably not working.) And instead of getting caught up with the very amusing, very nice folks on Twitter and Facebook and Goodreads, I got my 2K done. I know. To think that when you type words and stuff, you add to your WIP!

Thanks, Danielle. Hope that scene of yours resolves itself tonight. And adoring public, I'll see you on Twitter and elsewhere - but not before 12 noon.

8 comments:

Laura said...

Great formula. I'm really struggling with this at the moment and am coming up with masses of excuses... Time to disconnect from internet me thinks! Great post!
Lx

Lisa Yarde said...

We sometimes think of it as selfishness, as disconnecting from the world, but if we don't our work will never be finished. As much as our social interactions are important, balancing those against work, family, etc. is equally vital. It's a struggle for all, so you're in good company, Alison.

Johanna Garth said...

I couldn't wait until both kids were in school and now all I can think is 61/2 hours is not enough! Glad you got back to your manuscript today!!

Alison said...

Isn't that amazing, how 6 1/2 hours is simply not enough? I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one trying to figure out the balance as well as disconnect.

Krista M said...

That's a great point! I need to work on more writing and learn to just close that internet browser too. I'll use that next time I sit down to write. :)

west_2552 said...

Yup, the internet, TV, FB, etc., etc. can really chew up a lof of time. I guess when you work from your home PC it's easy to let the fun distractions get in the way of your work. Discipline is the key. Glad it's working out for you, Alison. But don't forget the fun stuff. You just have to balance!

JMCOOPER said...

I have had many days like that too, where I end up Twittering, Facebooking, and surfing the net for what feels like minutes only to find out it's 3pm and I have to go pick up my kids! But then I have days where I sit in my chair for 12 hours and actually write for all of them. That is exhilarating. Here's to some focus for all of us!

Karen deBlieck said...

It's so true. My problem is after spending all day homeschooling and doing domestic things I sometimes don't have the energy to dedicate to my wip. All I can do is make extraordinarily witty comments on facebook (OK, really I just press like over and over again).

I'm glad it works for you. I look forward to the day when I can spend more of my "good hours" to writing. Perhaps I need to get up earlier...