Writing Can Be Murder

January 8, 2010

Everything I ever needed to know

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 7:17 pm

about writing I learned from marathoning. Or is it vice versa?

So I started off the week with ambitious plans, and I was doing well. I wrote over 6500 words in two days and did my training run (half on the dreadmill) and was feeling pretty darn proud of myself.

Then I hit the wall Wednesday. I didn’t just hit. I smacked it face first and did one of those slo-mo slides all the way down to the ground.

I blamed it on the cold. I blamed it on the fact I wasn’t feeling great. I blamed it on the fact that my agent sent me a note about the first few chapters and I was distracted about all the changes I’ll have to make. I blamed it on the fact I can’t stand when someone gets on the treadmill beside me and insists on blasting the tv. I blamed it on Long Suffering who got “that” look on his face when I told him about the latest work I’d done on the book. (“that” look can politely be translated to WTF?!)

Then I started blaming myself. I should be able to push thru this. I should be able to write the next scene if I just sit and type enough words. I should be able to force myself to do a measly thirty minutes on the dreadmill. I should. I should. I should.

Then the doubts crept in. Something’s wrong. Something’s really wrong. Something is so wrong that I’m never going to write another word or run another step ever again! (sometimes my internal drama queen needs a good bitch slap)

Since it’s almost always easier to fix a physical problem than a mental one I tackled the running difficulty first. Despite the cold, I ran outside Wednesday. And it was so much better than the dreadmill because I wasn’t bored and my left foot doesn’t pronate quite so badly when I’m outside which means I’m in less pain afterward.

But there was another problem. I still had to do a third run this week. The weekend weather report calls for snow and then wind chills in the negative numbers. So I ran outside again on Thursday. Two days in a row, which is a no-no according to my training schedule. I had my doubts about getting thru it, so I chose to run loops around a small lake, which seemed counter-intuitive given that the wind whipping across the surface of the frozen water made my eyes tear, but made a strange kind of sense since I was never more than half a mile from my car. During the run I started thinking about the half marathon I’d done in October. How I literally stopped and called Long Suffering because I had the feeling I should be turning on a certain street to get to the finish line. (Sure enough, I’d missed a turn earlier and I did need to turn there.) And that’s when the epiphany hit. My gut is usually right.

(yeah, probably not all that grand on the epiphany scale, but it’s a lesson I forget over and over again)

There was a reason I’d hit the wall. It wasn’t all those things I’d blamed it on. It wasn’t because I was being lazy. The reason I hit the wall was simple: what I was doing wasn’t working.

The treadmill doesn’t work for me. It never has. I need to be outside.

The WIP isn’t working. My agent is right. Long Suffering is right. I need to take a different approach.

All the writing I did this week will probably be chucked. Guess I’ll just call it a training run.


1 Comment »

  1. Good for you for recognizing the problem and tackling it. I understand the laziness factor. It’s always easier to do nothing than do something. I have edits to finish that I don’t want to because I’m lazy and I’m blaming it on the million other things I have to do. They’ll get done, but only once I force myself to sit down and do them.

    Comment by Jennifer Colgan — January 9, 2010 @ 1:42 am | Reply

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