Friday, July 17, 2015

Momentum, And Loss

I’ve been making good progress on Gods of Talera this summer. This is the fifth book in the Taleran series and brings the current storyline to an end. During the last week in June and first week in July I was averaging over 1000 words a day, and a couple of times approached or exceeded 2000 words a day. I only count them when they are pretty well polished so that means quite a bit of wordage for me.

A lot of the progress I was making was due to two things, 1) getting into the routine of writing every day, which I can seldom do during the school year because of other work, and 2) the story developing momentum, with one idea leading to another and another and another. For me, that kind of thing starts to snowball and it revs up my excitement level for the tale, making it easier for me to dive into work every day.

Then, starting on Monday, July 6, the momentum started to fade. This was expected. I had a presentation on Dreams and Creativity to prepare for Saturday, July 11, and I started working on the presentation, as well as doing things to promote it. I managed a residual 1000 words on Gods on Tuesday, July 7, and then it dropped to virtually nothing the rest of the week as my attention turned toward the presentation.

I’ve found that I always have a day or two lag after a writing interruption before I can pick up the momentum again. I expected this after the dream presentation, and had already decided to take that Sunday off and hit it again hard on Monday. Sunday was when Randy Johnson died.

I didn’t get started back on Gods on Monday. I did a bit on Tuesday, then sagged again for a couple of more days. A big part of it was my sadness at Randy’s passing. I know some writers who seem to be most energized to write when they are upset emotionally. I’m not one of those writers, at least not where fiction is concerned. I write best when my mood is stable, and it wasn’t.

I realized on Thursday, though, that Randy, of all people, would not want any writer to write less because of his death. Randy loved good reading and, judging by his reviews, he loved the Talera series. I wrote about 800 words yesterday. Not quite a thousand but not a bad chunk. I’ve got to get my momentum back, gotta keep rolling. I owe it to Randy, and myself.

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19 comments:

R.T. said...

I wish you success in your efforts to regain the momentum. May the Muses be with you.

Yet I am reminded of writers who say that they sit themselves down for prescribed periods of time each day, even if those iron-clad commitments yield little or no progress. Perhaps those writers ought be envied in that their lives permit such commitments. On the other hand, they are like Sisyphus; they must constantly push that boulder up the hillside even if they make no progress.

My life -- and I guess yours -- will not allow for that kind of prescriptive writing. Only with teaching (i.e., grading essays and assignments) have I been able to be that disciplined. I guess I had no choice.

Again, may the Muses be with you!

Oscar said...

You are making good progress, keep at it.

cs harris said...

Glad to hear things are picking up again. Distractions and personal upsets always break my momentum, too.

Plus I find that when I'm writing a lot (rare!), I can burn myself out and then need to dial it back for a time.

Charles Gramlich said...

R. T., Just no way I can do it with school. Grading, proposals, research, committees, etc etc.

Oscar, thanks

CS, I could see that happening. anything you do too long and too intensely can drain you.

Cloudia said...

To everything turn, turn, turn......

sage said...

I think I write best when a bit hurried, but when emotionally troubled, I find myself struggling. Sorry about the loss of a friend.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, amen

Sage, I tend to write best in a time of calmness

David Cranmer said...

I can imagine how beautiful this series would look as a box set.

Charles Gramlich said...

David, that would be very cool!

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I admit I'm one of those that escapes into the fiction writing to avoid reality. I think the habit gets reinforced because it works for me. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernard, when I get started it certainly is an enjoyable escape.

Rebecca "Kate" Sterling said...

Oh, am so sorry to hear Randy passed away! I know he was a big fan of yours. That is so sad.

I understand about job, life stress, etc. sinking momentum. I started writing again last month and was about 8000 words into it when I began a new job. Have only written about 400 words in the past few weeks. :(

Charles Gramlich said...

Kate, I'm trying to make hay while the sun shines because I sure will have a similar slow down once school starts.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Good numbers, Charles. My problem is writer's block. I hate it when it comes.

Angie said...

Congrats on building up a great streak. And yes, it's understandable that taking a major hit like losing a friend would knock you off said streak. Getting back on it is great, but don't be too hard on yourself. {{}}

Angie

Charles Gramlich said...

Prashant, I think I mostly have writer's lack of commitment. I can almost always write if I force myself to it, but sometimes I just can't seem to do so.

Angie, I certainly cut myself more slack as I have been aging.

Riot Kitty said...

Sorry to get so far behind in reading posts, my little bro is still here and Mr. RK is gone, and I can't believe how much stuff it takes to take care of a household of two cats!

It looks like you got your momentum back, based on the most recent post - good on you.

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jodi said...

Charles-give yourself a moment to process the loss of your friend. After that, your mind will be clear to proceed with your writing. xo