Hello! How has it been one month since my last post? Oh, right, I was on the road for two weeks — family wedding, family visits — it was a whirlwind. And of course after the travel, the inevitable catching up.
My husband is still on the road, so I’ve been writing in that obsessive way one can only do when alone. I have work, of course, but right now I’m also thoroughly immersed in story. It’s been a while since this has happened. Of course it’s The Other Novel, not the one that’s so close and just needs some final polishing before it’s submission-ready. No, it’s the novel that drove me to grad school in the first place that I couldn’t figure out and finally outlined and timelined (neologism, I know) this past winter before moving.
I’ve written slightly over 10,000 words since Saturday — enough that it’s starting to feel like a real thing with characters and setting and a beginning and conflict. The last time I wrote this much this quickly was during my final semester at VCFA when we scrapped my novel in March and started over — and I graduated on time!
I wish I could type as fast as I can think — that as scenes play out in my head, they could transcribe themselves. And I’m feeling so limited by my typing speed (which as a Computer Science/English major is fairly fast), my need to sleep, and, of course, trying to catch up with a back log of work. I want 50 hours per day, 28 of them for writing (okay, 24 for writing, 4 for reading), 10 for work, 9 for sleep, 2 for food + making + clean-up, and 1 to watch television/melt my brain.
I never used to outline and I’m a complete convert now because I can see the trajectory, I can see the end, and I’m trying to write my way there. (Since I am completely backwards, I outlined the character-driven novel and plunged into the plot-driven one, which is why I had to scrap it and start over. Ah well — live and learn.)
And I’m finally accepting the joy of a first draft — of writing through and not stopping and knowing that there are mistakes and not caring. Because revision is the best part. Or is that the original imagining? Or the first writing?
One of these days I will have a real retreat, not just mini-ones, or go to a real residency and do this all day every day just for a short while, and it will be wonderful. Because stealing two hours a day to do this already is.
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Anindita is a writer, educator, book addict, geek, and occasional dog rescuer.