hmmm… why I shouldn’t blog soon after waking up

I just reread my blog from this morning and decided I should always drink coffee before I touch the key board.

I do have half an excuse. When I cut into sleep time, I get so tired that I can’t fall asleep. Sleep eventually comes, but my dreams are so vivid, that they take on an almost nightmarish intensity.

That happened to me last night and I woke up tired and very, very grouchy. I took myself waaaaaay too seriously. I apologize sincerely for any irritation caused.

As the sun rose and my thoughts cleared, I realized that part of me, the part that didn’t feel lie writing is natural, knew that I didn’t have to write for the next few days. My creative side is wrung out a little from my recent marathon writing stint. My mind is sapped of energy thanks to late nights, early mornings, huge imagination, investment management and 24.

Creative writing is not high on the agenda for today. And you know what? That’s fine. So what if I can’t be at least remotely as productive as last week? Like I tried to illustrate in the previous post, writing means a lot to me.

It means so much that I won’t let myself lose my love for it by forcing myself to write. I write when I feel like it. Right now, the only thing I feel like writing at the moment is this post. My mind is working out what it wants me to write down next. When it’s ready, I’ll just hear my muse calling and start again.

Judging by that part of me that still wants to get down to getting on with the story, I don’t doubt that this will happen within the next week.

It’s a strange thing. The realization just hit me that right now that I don’t crave to write. I crave the euphoria I experienced. This fact is actually an exciting prospect. If I’m so euphoric after a few chapters, imagine how it will be when I finish and/or publish a book… Can’t wait.

I hate when this happens.

Ever have your muse drag you to a book and leave you staring at the blank pages? It’s as if you want to write, but at the same time you don’t, because it just doesn’t feel natural.

I’m getting that torn feeling now, and it’s especially bad after my awesome writing stint on Thursdays. I can’t understand how a person can get lifted so high one day, and then be dropped a few days later.

Even as I sit here, I am wrestling to put the words down. Of course, this is further complicated by the fact that my k-key doesn’t want to work. See? I’m threatening to go into the banalities because it feels like I have nothing to say.

Why then, am I burdening you with a post that says nothing? Because I know that that something is there. I just have to find it. The feeling reminds me of bumping into someone you recognize, but whose name you forgot. It’s there, but you just can’t make that connection.

I just wonder if I’m the only one that feels like this. After all, most writers love writing so much that I can’t imagine that they would not want to write. Why do I get these bouts of conflict?

Luckily, I have the cure to this, even if I don’t know the cause. I just keep writing. Eventually I get to a point where I have trouble with reining in my words, where I am almost saddened to leave the world of my book to get to the nitty gritty of investment management and economics. Then… the whole process starts over again. 

But that’s OK, because writing is what makes me understand people. It helps me to explore myself and it lets me take flights of fancy to distant lands and different times. It’s the keeper of my sanity. I won’t let anything come in the way of writing – not even myself.

Interesting realizations

What happens when you keep blogging and only check if you get followers? You forget to check for comments. So… I sort of only replied to my comments today. Very very sorry.

But… that was far from my only realization since my last blog…

On checking with my gran (the author, for those that didn’t read my earlier posts), that the generally accepted word count for a standard format novel is between forty and eighty thousand words. My western falls in that category. 

The reason why this is so profound is that I recently wrote nine thousand words of the western in one day. So the book that is my sideline and thing to do when my epic stalls might turn out to be the one that is submitted first. 

So, the reader may ask, how did that happen? 

In short: I have no damn idea. I just decided I needed to write that afternoon. The western called me more that my epic, so I decided to write one chapter. At the end of the chapter I wanted to see what happens next, so I wrote another. And another. And another. And… you get the point. 

It was such a productive and fun writing session that I’m almost scared to face the disappointment when I can’t repeat it. Maybe I sound silly, but it’s true. I spent eight hours non-stop typing (well except for sustenance and… you know… those breaks.). No discipline was involved, since I never felt like I had to force myself to write something.

Luckily I know that if I keep working at it, my muse will smile down on me and I will get to go through it again. 

Of course, there was this tiny detail that I was supposed to spend seven of those hours studying. 

My reaction to coming out of the story at midnight? Panic? Distress? Regret? None of the above. I grinned at my miraculous achievement, brushed my teeth and went to sleep. I haven’t written anything except the blog since and that was OK, because my creative side was purring. It ended up creating extra time for me to study although it did cut into my sleep. And…

If I did badly, I got sixty percent, but I have this sneaking suspicion that I have a distinction coming my way. So Yay! 

So the biggest realization I leapt to was that life falls right regardless of whether you worry about it or not. Just don’t forget to study ;-P

Procrasternation (sorry if my writing is odd, but I’m on my blackberry)

Ah, the writer’s constant companion. I wonder why that is.

I completely understand if you delay something you hate to do. But what about writing?

I’m brilliant at not writing. If I do it right, I can not write for days.

I have heard it said that writers procrasternate due to fear of failing. Isn’t that strange? After all, we don’t get tested until submission and we have months to fix whatever we wrote badly before having to submit it. Still, it seems to be a common factor.

I fall in a totally different category. I’m afraid of starting. Can you believe it?

I hate when I have to start new passages, because usually I have no idea where to start. I spend hours contemplating this until I get fed up and write the first thing that occurs to me. Before I realize what’s happening, words flood onto the page and I finish pages of writing (25 typed pages yesterday).

Productivity like that always makes me wonder why I struggled in the first place.

I also wonder how many people lose the will to write simply because they keep saying that they’ll write tomorrow.

Maybe I am one of a lucky few that have an insistant muse that keep nagging until I write – today. Still, sometimes I ignore her so much that she just ups and leaves when I want to write.

Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts on the issue. And now… I want have to catch up on the hours of study time I spent writing. Feel the burn…

Dreams and disappointments

Hmm… See what happens when I open my mind and write whatever is on my mind? Brrr… Scary. Deep, but scary.

Have you ever done something that is a big dream in your life? Only to have it hit home that you’re disappointing someone that’s supposed to support you, every damn time you mention it?

At the moment, that’s happening with my mother, who I used to see as my one woman cheering squad.

That started to change when my dreams started to diverge from her expectations. See due to my vast intellect (established as being worth little when doing something that doesn’t interest me), I’ve always been pushed into doing the “hard stuff”, the stuff that very few other could do.

My principal pushed me to Actuarial Science. My parents pushed me to stay in commerce when I changed courses. They nearly flipped when I told them that my future lies in the humanities or arts.

Seriously, the fact that I have a keen “business mind” means nothing when I have kazillions of other things that I have a mind for, and more specifically when I have the heart for other things too.

But… my parents stand security for my study loans and I consider any degree better than none. So… a degree in commerce it is.

In reality, I want to talk about my Works in Progress. I want to write them and get at least the one published. But most of all, I want to tell my mom what I wrote about, and how it’s going without having yet another “I wish you’d spend as much time studying as you do writing” thrown my way. My personality strikes again…

I am doing the bloody degree they wanted. I’m back to passing my subjects after my recent “I HATE WHAT I’M DOING!!!!!!!” breakdown. (At this stage I need to mention that the breakdown happened after I forced myself to stop writing for months.) I’ve postponed all my other extra-curricular activities except for writing. I postpone writing when approaching test and exam days until after the session. I am not going to kill my soul further by giving up writing again. I am not willing to sacrifice my dreams on the altar of other people’s expectations. End of story.

Which brings me to what I wanted to say in the first place. I know it sucks to be going it alone. I know that those casual hints hurt like hell. But it is of the greatest importance that you follow your dream. You had it for a reason and you should never ever let the lack of support cause you to give up. 

We’re stronger than we look. It’s amazing how far we can go on our own. And….

When you’re a raving success, everyone will brag in interviews that they were behind us all along ;-P

I love Doc Holliday (He inspired a new book idea)

Really I do. It’s something that’s quite hard to explain to people.

But since I saw Tombstone (1993 Movie) I was intrigued by him. Or maybe it was the way that Val Kilmer portrayed him. I mean, here was a man that suffered from consumption for years and years, but mastered living every day of his life as if it was it was his last.

He was the one that everyone expected to die in a gun or knife fight with his boots on. Instead, he died in bed, reportedly staring at his bare feet and uttering: “My. This is funny.”

I love characters like him. Deeply complicated and somewhat twisted. I love that someone like him really existed.

And… I love him since he got me thinking about my Western. Part of me is sort of upset, but not really. My muse got a sniff of a story and is quite happy to lead me back to the one that got away.

I even figured how I would get both books done. My fantasy novel is priority number one, so that’s the one I write on every weekday. The western I’ll get to on weekends. If I want to write fantasy instead, that’s fine. As long as both keep moving. Incidentally, the western will be computer typed – with backups.

To be honest, leaving a project like the western unfinished has always irked me. When I mentioned it in my first blog, it bothered me even more. Doc just sort of reminded me that there’s this little gun-slinger in the making that’s waiting to be penned down. There are quite a few changes to the plot, characters and names, but all for the better. 

Since the Fantasy is my one and only first book, that’s the one that most of the blog will be about, but I might not be able to resist mentioning the western on occasion.

I’ve been a little worried about cross-pollinating my characters, making the cast the same and putting them in different stories. I don’t think that is likely, though, since the characters are very very far apart. Still, I want to hear some opinions. Have you ever worked on two books at the same time? Under what circumstances? How did it work out? How did you keep your casts of characters unique?

What I did on three hours’ sleep.

So… I finished my essay before the deadline and it came out surprisingly well. Phew.

Unfortunately I finished my essay at two in the morning and had to wake up a five.

Up to now, I’ve packed my luggage without forgetting anything (but maybe I forgot that I forgot). I’ve driven in morning traffic without falling asleep or causing a crash. I’ve attended a class and didn’t fall asleep. I almost did, but since I think sitting in class where the lecturer can see me and sleeping is rude. So… knowing that I wasn’t getting anything out of it, I pretended to take notes and wrote an interesting if somewhat dark poem instead.

I must say that it surprised me when I reread it. All of by tethered cynicism seemed to break loose and ran wild on my page. Maybe the sleep deprivation muted my internal censor or something. Or perhaps the poem was my contemplation of what I would enter into the Notes from the Underground Contest, if i decided to write.

Who knows? But I have to wonder if I could do it again…