Thursday, October 5, 2017

Seven Days of Writing

Well, my last post for this blog was in September, four months--a record, I think, and not one I want to celebrate!

I have been writing some from my bicycling blog, and I've also done some spot writing, flash fiction and a little on my novel, A Mage that Gathers.

I'm happy that for the last seven days, I've stuck to the routine of writing in the early morning at least three hundred words. This is just a small amount, but what I'm working toward is establishing a routine. Three hundred words a day means 2,100 words a week, times 52 comes to 109,200 words in a year--or the rough draft of a novel.

Oddly enough, it was easier to establish regular writing times when I was teaching full-time. The times available for writing were definite and limited, so I had to take them: 5:00 AM every day, or 1:57 PM, for example. Now time is more fluid and seems to slip through my fingers, even though my activity is meaningful and purposeful.

So I'm glad to be writing regularly for a week. Those words-per-day can extend over time. I'm traveling with my wife soon, so I'll have time on the plane, or time in the hotel room while my wife is away with her business. If travel interferes on a particular day, I still have the 2,100-word goal for each week.

I have this picture in my head: it's November and getting cold in Iowa, but I'm camping, bundled up with wool underwear, flannel-lined pants and down coat. I'm sitting in my camp chair next to a fire, tent behind me. My laptop is open, and I am typing. I'm wearing brown jersey cotton gloves, the fingers cut off. It's cold but the fire is warm. It's quiet in the campground. Geese vee to the lake, sounding their distant calls. I'm writing, a cup of chai near at hand. I stand, place my laptop on the chair, and then add wood to the fire.

The reality might be that I'm sitting there, shivering so hard I can't think or type, but the picture in my mind is a nice one. I hope to try it this year. I have warm clothes. I have wood and matches for the fire. I have my sweet little laptop. It might happen.

If not, then change that to me sitting beside my woodstove. It's snowing outside, and that silence of falling snow permeates even through the walls of the house. The soft sounds of my fingers working the keyboard break the silence, hardly a description to be found in a Jack London novel. "Buck rested his large head on John Thornton's thigh, gazing devotedly up as the man's fingers typed out an email order for frozen fish for the sled dogs."

Oh, well. Times change, but at least for the last week I've managed to get myself back into harness. Mush!


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