Once again the lesson comes home. A few days off from writing means an inevitable slow down in production once I return. Since coming back from Howard Days I still haven't gotten back fully into the flow of the project I'm working on. Where before I was doing 6 to 10 pages a day, now it's 2 or 3. I'm making progress. I console myself with that. But I'm ready for the dam to burst.
I wonder what causes this effect. When I'm honest with myself I think it's two things. First, even over a few days some inevitable forgetting occurs. I mean that when I'm working five to six hours a day every day there are a lot of little details that hang around in my mind. Much of it swirls in my unconscious but it's ready when I reach for a metaphor, a connection, or a phrase. That stuff disappears when I'm away from the computer and in a completely different mindset. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do about this, except avoid vacations. And I do like a break now and then.
The second reason, though, is more personal and more troubling. Since coming back I've allowed myself to take it easier. I haven't put in the same number of hours, and it's because the work is harder without the flow, and because I'm simply feeling lazy. I've allowed myself to play too much of my video games, to watch too much TV (mostly Star Trek reruns), and just to fool around. Even though I know what I'm doing, it's still not easy to fight it. Even though I know the flow will only return when I put in the hours, still it's so easy to find something else to do.
Damn this writing. Why is it so tough when I want it to be all fun and games? I want to "have" written. I want to relax and bask in the glory of a completed project. But I know there's only one way through it. I've got to put the words on the page, on page after page. I've got to hammer the keys and keep on hammering until I beat something into a plowshare.
Maybe today it'll come together. Maybe.