Maintaining Focus; or … Oooh! Shiny!

(This posting originally appeared on The Melt-Ink Pot)


This time of year is hard on our inner seven-year-olds. So many distractions, so many things we could be doing, along with the things we should be doing, and there’s never enough time for everything. I should write. I should also finish decorating the living room, shopping for presents, and planning for the party at my house on Sunday. Somewhere in there, I need to find time to wash my hair, clothes, and bathroom floor, and oh, yeah, I’m going to a concert tomorrow night.

I have — so far — managed to write every single day since the end of NaNoWriMo. Granted, my word count on one of those days was a whopping 22 words*, but it was still progress in a forward direction. I did write a mile worth of words (5,280) the Sunday before last, however.

It’d be easy to say, “Well, it would be all right if I didn’t write until after the holidays.” After all, it’s not like the writing police are lurking outside my door, waiting to haul me off if I don’t put fingers to keyboard for at least a few minutes a day. I’m only doing this for me, and no one will know the difference. Right?

Right … but … (You knew there would be a “but”, didn’t you?)

But … I’m doing this for me. I’m doing it because it’s something I really want to do, and because it makes me feel good to do it. I’m enjoying the heck out of writing this story, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with my beta readers — which I can’t do until it’s done. And yes, it is good for my sometimes-tenuous self-esteem to be able to say, “Look! I wrote every damn day in December, and I’ve written a hundred thousand words since November 1.” It will be even more satisfying to say, “I’ve finished another book, and I don’t think it sucks.”

It’s also important to me to keep my momentum going. I can sit down right now and pretty much remember where my brain was when I left off last night. Two weeks from now, I might not have a clue. And once I reach that point, it’s just that much easier to let it slide just another day or two … another week … another month … forever … while I wait for inspiration to strike, or the muse to return, or the planets to be in just the right conjunction, or — even less likely — my brain to go back to where it was when I left off.

So, yeah. I’m going to keep writing every day. I might — MIGHT — give myself a day off on Christmas. (Though we will have to drive back from my parents’ house in Fort Collins, and that would be an hour of writing time, if I can persuade the husband-unit that it’s his turn to drive …) And I honestly don’t think I’ll be doing any writing on January 2nd, since I’m helping cook an SCA Twelfth Night feast that day.

But other than that, I’ll be writing. Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard. One word at a time. Because I am determined that it shall be so.

(By the way, for folks who were wondering about the fate of poor, first-name-less Mr. Fletcher, to whom I introduced you last week, worry no longer. This time around, the poll was conclusive, and we have settled happily on Mr. Nicholas Owen Fletcher.)

* Yes, that was the day of the holiday party thrown by my employer. Yes, the one where they put me in charge of the drinks tickets. Yes, the one where I used my two and then some. And?


About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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