Yes, I’d say knocking off the Facebook and Twitter links on my taskbar after many months of them being there has certainly been a very positive step. The problem I had was that I would probably get a tiny chunk of 100 words done, find it really easy to snap back to Chrome, click on Facebook, watch a video of a cat trying to balance on a dog’s head, go onto Twitter and find that people are moaning about Doctor Who again before going back to repeat this process a few times over. I’d usually finally give up once 500 words had been put down of an evening.
Social media is a fine thing but it doesn’t half suck up time and kill productivity. Part of me is considering leaving both of them alone for a while. At least with Instagram I need to be on my phone for it so I’m usually out and about anyway when I need to open that.
As a result of knocking this on the head I’ve managed to get 2000 words done today. Yes, two thousand! This might not seem like much to most but it’s actually the most productive day as far as word count goes on this book I’ve had since starting the whole thing in early March.
I have hit a little bit of a crossroads for today though. Part of me wants to carry on and maybe even make it 3000. The other half of me wants to jack it in for the day and watch some wrestling tonight and not feel guilty about doing so.
It’s 5:30pm here now, my dinner is in the oven so I’ll probably have to make a call on that soon.
A very short note to say that I’ve discovered something that seems to have helped me with my word rate over the last hour or so.
I’ve removed the Facebook and Twitter tabs from the bookmark bar on my browser.
It’s a small thing but it’s made a massive difference.
I’m aware this sounds like the most obvious thing.
All writers have faced some kind of struggle as they face getting book, script, poem, play or comic off the ground. The process of making an idea in the head into something an audience can see, read or hear is littered with many obstacles. As the saying goes, if it were easy then everybody would do it.
If you haven’t been reading this blog for long then you might be unaware of a couple of details. Firstly, I am not a professional writer. At no point have I made a dime out of writing despite that being the aim for the future. I have written a short film that was shown in festivals around Europe, I have written feature film scripts that were never picked up and I have penned a play that was performed locally. At no point during any of this has any cash come my way. I am not after multi millions pouring into the account every month. I have no desire to drive a flash car or have a swimming pool. If I could make a comfortable living just making stuff up with words then I’d be a happy man. Currently though I’m in the position when the day job of working in an opticians gains me a pay cheque at the end of the month. Writing is, at this moment in time, something I do for kicks.
On very odd occasions I often think about just jacking in this whole process of piling up word counts and just get on with ‘real life’. A certain sensation of all this being a monumental waste of time starts eating at me.
Then I usually get something brought to my attention that completely reminds me of why I’m still trying to do this. My interest in professional wrestling meant that this video of Eddie Dennis popped up in my timeline when it was released onto the internet a couple of weeks back. Until then Eddie was a headteacher for the most part and a part time wrestler. Now he’s making the brave decision to quit teaching and become a wrestler full time.
Here’s the video in full so you can see what it’s all about.
I have to admit that I haven’t seen Eddie Dennis wrestle (although I’m looking to change that soon) but I instantly found a common theme in this video. Even if you have no interest in wrestling at all the story of one man leaving behind his usual job for a shot at something he’s been dreaming about for years still has an impact.
So a quick thank you to Eddie Dennis. You might not have realised it but a wrestler from Wales has certainly provided help and inspiration to a writer from the South of Scotland.
You can actually read all about Eddie’s journey over on his own WordPress blog right here.
I wish him the very best of luck.
An amount which seems like so much but also, at the same time, seems to little as well. It’s not even halfway.
I am firmly at the stage right now when the whole thing seems like a complete misadventure. If I’d have written this as a ninety minute script then I’d probably have done a first draft by now and be onto rewriting a second version. I’d have typed THE END at least once. It would have existed as a full text. I would currently be thinking about how to pitch it as a small, easily made sci fi movie.
Instead I am far too deep in to quit now, I’ve already described all the locations we’re going to visit (a symptom of this story originally being designed to be an easily filmed ninety minute sci fi movie) and I have one character who was only added to the planning stage to provide a small chunk of comic relief actually now having a fully blown part of the story that does seem to make him the most human of all the characters.
Also, if I’d made the script then there would be no guarantee that anybody would pick it up. At least as a book I can publish it myself if needs be. Trust me, the outside world is getting the chance to read this one somehow.
Which is strange because he’s almost all alien.
Such are the people I’m dealing with here.
It’s a frustrating thing when you get through one chapter and everything is going smoothly and with pace. You close the computer down for the night thinking that the next day will see you pick up from exactly the same point and bomb away exactly as you were.
Then, the next day, you get about four words in and think to yourself ‘What exactly were these two characters doing again?”.
Then everything falls to bits.
Any others writers out there sometimes find that they’re struggling for an ‘exit’ out of a chapter? Currently I have two characters just waffling on whilst eating scrambled eggs in an American diner that happens to be situated in a Scottish town.
I’ve perhaps overdone this one.
I wasn’t even planning on getting that many words done today. Even 500 or so would have been an accomplishment on a Sunday. My wife and son went off to watch Despicable Me 3 at the local cinema though so I managed to get a couple of hours at it whilst they were away. In the end I got 1000 words done so I’m now up to 23,000 at the end of Chapter 13.
Chapter 13, detailing the first character to meet the alien under the water, goes full on Doctor Who like territory. There’s nothing truly bad about that but the story up until now has been about a missing girl. This is obviously a very serious and sombre matter. This is the moment in the book when we go full on scifi and I’m still not sure that those two things clash horribly. There’s a part of me wanting to tone that side down a bit but the rest of me just reckons that my writing of the strange stuff is actually far better than writing the normal stuff. When I can inject a bit of imagination into events then I feel much more comfortable writing it as well.
It seems a very strange balance to have.