Now that's an original title-ha! And since this post is about my writing habits, it should really be titled "(Mis)Adventures in Writing". I don't know if it's a side effect of getting older, or the 'revenge of the hormones', or just general dementia setting in, but I don't seem to be able to concentrate like I once did. When I first started writing, I was eager, enthusiastic, full of ideas. I couldn't wait to escape my other life (children, husband, pets, "real" job, etc.) and go to the sanctuary of my office, fire up the computer and create. I spent every spare minute in front of that computer, writing, writing, writing. Of course, that was also before I knew anything about the true nature of the publishing world (that's another story).That was when I truly believed the book I was writing was the next NYT bestsller (crazy, huh?). It was also just before the explosion of the Internet and the Devil's spawn, *E-mail*. I could happily spend hours writing, and being very productive.
Fast forward twelve plus years later, with five books published, two more books and a novella coming out in 2007. Great publisher, great editor, book contract, a few awards under my belt (which, by the way is much tighter now--life is so unfair!). I have a book deadline approaching (January 1, 2007). Therefore, I have a book I'm obligated to write. Let's look at my writing day now . . .
Saturday morning: Crawl out of bed much later than I'd planned (oh well, I needed to catch up on my sleep). Stumble downstairs, get a cup of coffee, take a few slugs, wait for the jolt of caffeine (thank you!). Then I go to the downstairs computer and check e-mail (both addresses). After that, while waiting for the caffeine to kick a little harder, I play a few hands of solitare to help me wake up. Time to write, but wait-I need to do my stretching routine first (stupid getting-older body). So, fifteen minutes of stretching. Time to write-wait, I'm starving, and a writer needs fuel. Breakfast (and I have to read while I eat). The book is so good, I read a few chapters before I finally put it down. Would you look at that-it's already 11:00, and I have to write ten pages today.
Okay. Get more coffee, get glass of water, trudge to the upstairs computer. Since it's been at least an hour, I have to check e-mail again. Oh, and I have to check my book rankings on Amazon. And, oh yes, I have to stare at my new book cover and engage in a few fantasies. Time to write-finally I pull up the file with the current WIP. Have to read what I wrote last session, have to tweak and edit a little. Done. Oh, look, some new e-mails! Oh, now, I'm getting sleepy. Stand up and walk around. Back to the writing. Only my muse is not cooperating (and Nora Roberts says the muse thing is a myth-what does she know? Oh, wait, a lot . . .) So, to give my muse time to engage, I play a few hands of solitare. Back to the WIP. Oh, wait, there's more e-mail. Okay, back to the WIP. Oh, wait, I need new music. What to play? Back to the WIP . . . Gee, I'm sleepy. *Really* sleepy. I can't possilby write like this. Maybe a short nap. Curl up on the bed with the electronic timer. Maybe just read one chapter of this book before I nap. After all it is Saturday, and I deserve some down time. 30 minutes later, I close the book and take a 20 minute nap. I wake up, ready to write. Wait-I'm starving. Must be time for lunch, and more coffee.
Get the picture? This isn't pretty, but it's real. And it goes on like this until around 4:00 or 5:00, when my muse finally grabs me by the hair and says, "All right, you b*tch! Cut it out! Let's get this show on the road. START WRITING!" And believe it not, the writing actually starts flowing. I don't usually get my ten pages at this point (have I mentioned I have issues with goal setting?) but I'll get the flow of creativity going, and get out 4-5 pages, which sets me up for . . . Sunday.
But that's another (mis)adventure. Every week, I tell myself I'm going to do better, get started on my writing earlier in the day, get really serious, focus more, be more Nora-esque. But by the time Saturday rolls around, I'm tired, frazzled, and creatively-challenged. And every Monday morning, when I go to my other job, I bemoan the fact that I didn't use my time more wisely, didn't get more done. And I resolve to do better the next weekend. Hope springs eternal.
But you know what--I do usually manage to meet my contracted deadlines (or come close) and somehow-*somehow*-the book gets done. It's a mystery to me!