Not feeling the blogging thing today, and that’s okay. Writing, yes, but not blogging. I have my daily task list all planned out, but when I come to “write blog,” there’s a blank. Which is fine. White space and all that. Part of the reason I blog is to clear out the gunk from my brain so that I can be primed and ready for the good stuff, which, from my perspective is writing fiction. The same could be said for morning pages, but the difference here is that morning pages are private, and blogging is…not. It’s the opposite of private. It’s splashed onto the screen with the explicit purpose of being read (passive tense, ooh, dangerous) by others. Commercial fiction, which is what I write (subset: romance, sub-subsets: historical romance (on my own) and contemporary romance (with writing partner, Melva)) is also meant for public consumption, and, when we add the extra factor of a reader or readers, that also brings in the knowledge of the potential reader or readers.
I do a lot better when I have a topic planned out ahead of time. This time, I don’t, so what you get instead is the first thing my brain can latch onto, which is…the stove.
This post is not about cooking. We did get a new stove yesterday, the delivery window starting after I had left the house for critique session with N. Real Life Romance Hero had the day off, and earned extra hero points for supervising the removal of the old stove (which Landlord and I delicately referred to as “vintage.”) and installation of the new one. Since strange people moving appliances around is not an environment especially conducive to writerly concentration, Real Life Romance Hero and I agreed I would remain at Panera, post-critique-session, and get some work done.
Aha. Here we go. Connection time. One of the things I like about keeping some of the notebooks that I do, is that it makes the spotting of patterns easier. Since one of the patterns I’d noticed of late is that, when I try to cram all the work on Her Last First Kiss into Monday, because Tuesday is critique day, I feel rushed and crowded. Feeling rushed and crowded also makes me feel pressured, and I focus on the number of pages I’m putting out, rather than making the story the best it can possibly be. So, clearly, that is not a good thing to have going on, on a regular basis. N and I both agreed that we wanted to bring more pages to our critique session each week, which means I need to find more time to devote to that book. Where to find that?
As it turns out, right there. Since I needed to stay out of the house while the stove was installed, I had extra time in Panera, bottomless iced tea (my second of the day, as I’d accidentally knocked the first one into the trash; could not have planned that if I tried.) and my writerbrain already riding on N’s comments, as well as the energy of being with another writer in person. I don’t have any blogs due on Tuesdays. Double aha. Since N and I had discussed a new scene needed to break up a big block of Hero scenes, I wanted to strike while the iron was hot, and that worked out pretty darned well. A week is a lot more comfortable lead time than a day, so this is probably going to become a regular feature. The sooner N and I get to The End of our drafts, the closer our respective imaginary friends are to getting out into the world and into the hands of readers.
Right now, I’m looking at my task list for the day, and feeling that rushed and crowded thing again, and that tells me I need to recalibrate. The same as the stove only has four burners (plus oven and warming tray) my brain has space for front burner tasks and back burner tasks. Back burner does not mean “never,” and trying to put all the pans on the front burners at the same time is going to result in dishes nobody is going to want to eat. In fact, the results may not even be fit for consumption, but, putting each thing in its proper place and time, well, we can get a banquet out of that.
Which all brings us to over the magic seven hundred, so that’s it for today. I am off to play with my imaginary friends.