Twenty second in the 1K a Day Motivational Series, in which I talk about something that happened in the previous week that could have or did prevent me from writing a minimum of 1,000 words on a given day, or possibly talk about something that provided support to get me through the day.
This past week I’ve been working on The Children of Avalon Circle, what I thought would be a simple little short story, cute, fun, nothing major.
Instead of that, it’s already broken 20K words, which is entrenching it firmly in the novella category. For context, The Recluse and the Runaway on Amazon is only about 23k words. Roughly a quarter the length of a standard novel these days. I let this one run away from me and I’ve been chasing it back down ever since. It’s been a lot of fun to write, just kind of letting it go where it wants, pushing towards a conclusion that is foggy and uncertain at this point.
This is great, but it’s also kind of rough. I have many stories I want to work on and this one’s intruded upon the docket I’ve built for myself this year. After the staggering work I put into Gridfall, I was a little lost. Didn’t know quite where to go next. I fiddled around for a day or two the week before, I’m constantly thinking about other writing projects. Things are happening that have me distracted, that are keeping me from paying attention and writing in the more focused manner that I should be.
It’s difficult to transition to a new writing project so soon after finishing a big one. The mind is still abuzz, a little burnt, from the previous work. Capturing that drive, that focus, is next to impossible for some. It’s been very difficult for me.
The only thing that really helped me was the routine. It’s already in place, so even though I’m a little bit wanderer right now, I’m still pushing forward. I still know where I’m going even if my mind isn’t quite there yet.
So it’s a double-edged sword, this routine. I had to break the routine a little bit simply because I wasn’t working on the same story anymore. Any break in the routine can lead to a total collapse if I let it. And some days are harder than others. some days are just “But I’m Distracted and I just want to watch X-Files and forget about things for a bit, come back tomorrow when I will be able to focus.”
But you can’t do that. You can’t let it lapse or it sets the precedent. One of my favorite standup comedians at the moment is John Mulaney, and he does this bit where he says something like, “It’s so much easier not to do something than it is to do something. That you would do anything at all is incredible. Percentage-wise, it is 100% easier not to do a thing than it is to do it.”
And I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more apt breakdown of letting routine lapse. Not doing a thing is easy. Doing it is hard. Doing it every day is impossible.
But we still do it every day, don’t we?
Get back on track and write the hell on, writers.