I am managing to write something every day.
Some days are much harder than others, especially when I’m entering one of my personal angst fugues. And then some days are fun and positive and energizing, and the writing comes smoothly.
Thursday was one of the bad ones:
Just checked my Angst Potentialometer and the needle is creeping into the red.
— Heather Meadows (@cosleia) January 15, 2015
I went on to tweet about how I’m not sure anyone will understand one of my projects. I did not go so far as to tweet that I thought all my projects were pointless, but I admit that this thought has been ghosting at the back of my mind. I have to keep reminding myself that writing every day is the goal, not writing something publishable–that will come later. I especially have to remind myself of this when I’m feeling that low.
Somebody tell me I have to write something today, because I am just not there. — Heather Meadows (@cosleia) January 16, 2015
I didn’t manage to get anything written until 11pm, but it was more than just a couple hundred words, and I ended on a mild cliffhanger that made me excited to figure out what would happen next. This also resulted in me waking up Friday morning thinking about the story. So I skipped part of my regular morning routine, reading webcomics, in favor of writing the next part of the story. And I went to work feeling amazing, and I felt amazing all day.
It seems that how things go one day can strongly effect the next day. And I also think effects can be cumulative. Here’s a breakdown, starting at the beginning of Week Two:
Thursday, January 8: Coming off a week of working on a new project, Whispers, I started strong with 905 words. I had written two things the previous day, a little bit on Whispers and a blog post. I hadn’t included the blog post in my word count because it was a discussion of the writing process (like this post, which I guess I won’t count either). I’d intended to write in the morning before work, but I ended up spending that time researching the universe of the story. Work that day was pretty draining, and I watched two episodes of Agent Carter to wind down before finally getting to my writing. This meant I was up an hour past my usual bedtime of 10:30.
Friday, January 9: I did not even attempt writing in the morning. I may have slept in, I’m not sure, but I do know that I spent the time I did have on reading webcomics. That night after work, I tried working on a different writing project, the vignette my friend Heidi won in my silly Facebook contest. I did not get very far. Then Sean and I went out to eat, which of course took up a fair amount of time, but loving my husband and doing things with him is a high priority for me. (We had a cute moment in the car listening to the Welcome to Night Vale episode “Antiques”, which I happily shared with Tumblr the next day.) Finally I wrote a blog post about Heidi’s writing prompt and called it a day, because I couldn’t think of a topic and I wasn’t quite in the zone for Whispers.
Saturday, January 10: Continuing to research my Japan trip for Heidi’s vignette, I unwittingly stumbled across some old, old emotions. This completely derailed me; I needed time to process and recover. And as I was clawing my way out of that, I was intensely feeling all the horrible things that have been happening around the world lately. This resulted in:
You have now entered What Is the Point of Even Existing. For the sake of your will to live, try not to think. About anything.
— Heather Meadows (@cosleia) January 10, 2015
Watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier made me feel better, but then I watched episodes 12 and 13 of Sailor Moon Crystal. The juxtaposition of Usagi’s infantile emotions with the real horrors of the world left me with a sort of numbness. I spent the rest of the day reading academic-style critical analyses of Welcome to Night Vale. The tiny blog post I’d made in response to remembering something I’d managed to forget ended up being all I wrote that day.
Sunday, January 11: First thing, I pulled together my thoughts on Sailor Moon Crystal in a blog post. I then spent most of the day watching the webseries Whatever this is., which was excellent, and reading news and opinion pieces. I also wrote a happy little blog post about fanart, and included it in my word count to make myself feel productive.
Monday, January 12: Back to work. I didn’t seem to remember that I’d resolved to try doing my writing in the morning; I spent that time reading webcomics and social media as usual. I’m not actually sure what I did after work, as I was kind of quiet on Twitter other than retweets, but I do know I didn’t start trying to write until 9:50, which is ridiculous. The result was a short, silly blog post that I do enjoy, but I could have done much more if I had prioritized writing earlier in the day.
Tuesday, January 13: Again, I spent my morning on webcomics and news. I figured I’d write at lunch.
Brought my little laptop to work so I could write at lunch. Forgot I had made lunch plans. FOILED AGAIN — Heather Meadows (@cosleia) January 13, 2015
I sat down to write immediately after work. Recognizing that the Japan vignette wasn’t going to happen anytime soon and that I seemed to be stalled on Whispers, I turned my attention to another project I’ve been thinking about for awhile. It’s a gender-swap (among other things) reboot of a popular franchise, and I don’t want to name that franchise publicly yet, but I’m kind of excited about it. I worked my way completely through the intro scene, stopping here and there to consider how my character changes would affect the story and how a modern telling would affect certain elements. It was the most I’d written all week, and I felt wonderful.
Wednesday, January 14: I’m not sure if I would have tried to write before work, but I ended up spending my time investigating why there was a balance on my Macy’s card, when I had paid it off last month the same day as making the charge. This absorbed my morning, to the point that I didn’t read webcomics either. I ended up coming home at lunch and reading webcomics then. After work it was time for a new Agent Carter (I watch everything the next day at the earliest, on Hulu, as I don’t have cable or a trustworthy antenna), and then I read a long but fascinating article, and then it was 10:23pm and I was only just getting to writing. And even then…
That moment when you go to your browser to look up what something’s called and end up reading five articles and checking all social media
— Heather Meadows (@cosleia) January 15, 2015
I finally forced out some words on the reboot project and went to bed.
Thursday, January 15: A new episode of Welcome to Night Vale was released at midnight. I spent the morning listening to it and reacting to it. I skipped Tumblr because I knew that would be endless and instead read webcomics, then went to work. Thursday is where the angst mentioned earlier started. I started to feel trapped by how I spent my time and worried that what I was writing was stupid. Finally I shared my feelings with my writing mentor. She had absolutely no sympathy for my angst and told me to schedule my writing time.
Every fiber of my being despises this idea but I WILL TRY IT — Heather Meadows (@cosleia) January 15, 2015
I haven’t actually tried it yet. But I did prioritize writing on Friday morning, and it seemed to make the whole day better. So I think my morning schedule will be this:
6:00-6:45: Standard morning prep
And I’ll leave all the webcomics and social media for later.
At this point I’m not prepared to try getting up earlier, because my current schedule generally works well–I get enough sleep and I get to see Sean in the evening. But if I find that 45 minutes isn’t enough, I’ll come back to the idea.
Today I prioritized writing this blog post. I haven’t read webcomics yet, though I must confess I have looked at Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, this post doesn’t add to my word count, but it is writing, and it is non-work-related, and it has also been pretty illuminating, so I don’t regret it. Also, in the middle of writing it, I wrote 294 very personal words that I will not publish, but which do count.
And now, I’ll write something else.