Monday, January 1, 2007

Despite the absolutely horrid stomachache...

I want to get some writing done on the first day of the year. Seems like a good way to start things off, even if January 1st is four hours from being over). A couple of days ago, my computer shut down for no apparent reason (though I suspect it was because of how little space there is on my hard drive, or a memory issue). And, I've been in a bit of a writing slump lately, never able to write very much in the course of a day. But I've tried resorting to longhand, paper and pen, and ended up with about five sheets full of text. In the midst of transcribing that onto the Word document, my computer shuts down and restarts. I lost all that I had typed.

Upside, I still had the written version, so I could retype it. Downside, I didn't feel like retyping what I'd just typed, and ended up not writing for the rest of that day and the next.

I want to type up all that stuff now to start the year off with writing, like I said, and to hopefully pull myself out of this funk.

Over the summer, from the end of June until nearly the end of July, I didn't turn on a single computer. Didn't type one word, didn't check my email or my journal. Not even a game of solitaire on my desktop. I actually had at least one friend concerned because of my absence (as email, instant messaging and our online journals were the only way we really connected). I never want to do that again. I felt so unproductive that month, but I just couldn't bring myself to turn on the computer. So now if the mood hits me, I'll shut off the computer early, maybe even take a few days off, but I keep a pen and some folder paper near at hand and I'm never gone for longer than a week.

I guess I'm just hoping the act of turning on the computer is a step forward. Even if I only type a few hundred words that day (pretty bad for me, I can average 2,000 on a good day), it's better than nothing.

I never like reading those articles or receiving the advice to set up a daily word count or page count or time frame (write an hour a day or some such). I know it works for some people, but beyond a sense of 'I'd -like- to reach at least this many words' I try not to set a goal like that. Maybe it's from college--that desire to write a good enough essay on the first draft that it only needs minor revisions, so I take more time with writing it out--that I would rather have 200 words that equal a pretty good paragraph, than 2,000 that I'll just delete the next day anyway. That's ignoring the fact that with my novel-writing, I know there'll be a couple rounds of heavy editing anyway beyond the first draft.

Ah well. My stomachache is not well (possibly the rich dinner we had tonight, or the accumulation of rich dinners during all the recent holidays), but if I can just get through a few pages of retyping, I'll feel good (mentally at least).

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