For a day that started out with such creative promise boy did it fizzle.
It all started last night.
Shortly after getting into bed I decided if I didn’t make a note of the blog idea I thought up while brushing my teeth I would probably forget it.
I gave brief consideration as to whether to put it in a laptop file or write it on a sticky note. The sticky notes won.
When I saw the two notes this morning after waking from the best sleep I’ve had in two weeks I smiled and thanked myself for following through. I then set the sticky notes where I could see them, the idea being I’d write that post soon.
That was over six hours ago.
Confident it would be a productive day I sipped espresso and fired up Free Cell, the idea being to mentally run through a few scenes for Hollow Shelter.
The Port Gallatan work I’ll be publishing weeks from now.
That activity – sans blog post – turned into hours of playing Free Cell.
A waste, right?
I mentally wrote several chapters for the new book while playing that mindless repetitive game and that’s in addition to the 21 pages I wrote in MS Word the day before yesterday and 8 yesterday.
8 that were in addition to going back through the original 21 and filling in plot details.
I knew the time spent writing scenes in my mind was time well spent.
It was also long overdue.
I’ve been immersed in nonfiction for the past 9 months.
The fact I knocked out 21 pages in three hours on the first day I set to work told me more than anything I’m back in the groove for fiction.
Thank God. It’s more fun and less stressful.
I wasn’t concerned that after several hours I still wasn’t putting fingers to keyboard. After all, I’ve written a 200 page novel in 3 weeks and 3 full-length novels in 3 months.
When the creative juju flows it flows.
When lunch came and went and I still couldn’t get my fingers to keyboard I started to think maybe I needed to motivate myself.
- Look at the white board
- Look at the sticky notes
- Look at the manuscript in progress
I debated just not worrying about it.
I’ve gone pedal to the keyboard metal enough to know I can kick it out. I’d make my deadline no problem.
There was just one little problem.
Brightly Colored Prodding
About a year ago I purchased a pack of brightly colored sticky notes.
Bet you can see where this is going…
The ones I wrote the blog post notes on are a rather bright orange.
Even as my eyes defocused while clicking digital cards and my mind wrote scenes between characters the neon orange whispered I’m still waiting…
I picked them up – read my notes – decided the post could wait.
Er that post.
Frustrated I wasn’t doing a better job taking advantage of a good night’s sleep and a productive Free Cell Chapter writing session I decided to write something.
So I could feel I’d accomplished something.
Those mental scenes are a double-edged sword.
Yes I got work done but until they are in the manuscript? They’re in my head.
I couldn’t get myself to do anything.
Not even something.
The Big Guns
I decided to listen to music but it felt kind of – no pun intended – hollow.
I usually use it as a reward after a full days’ writing.
I’ll admit, I was hoping maybe the music would get the motivation progressing from thinking to typing. Thankfully, it worked.
The how is a bit ironic.
I’ve mentioned deciding what to write next after a project is finished can be a bit of work and that I have other manuscripts partially done that I could have chosen as low hanging fruit to follow Under Siege
- Metatron’s Army
- Dragon Core
- Port Gallatan
Each of them has at least one book at least 1/3 finished.
Many are 1/2 done.
Why? My mind needs a pressure release valve when I’m deep in a project so I’ll take hours and type until the creative stress is relieved after which I save whatever I wrote and go back to the main project.
Sometimes those files end up getting deleted. Other times, as in the case of Hollow Shelter, they move around the country for 28 years before getting published.
I selected a play list with Black Lab’s Learn To Crawl before eventually switching to a different list so I could listen to Duran Duran’s Do You Believe In Shame?
Tequila Sunrise is one of my all-time favorite movies!
The moment I heard the opening notes I knew I had the first song for the as yet uncreated Hollow Shelter playlist.
Next thing I know I’m fingers to keyboard.
And so it goes.
Hollow Shelter will be available late summer/early autumn 2022