I had five fiction writing sessions between today, yesterday and Thursday.
I spent about fourteen hours writing fiction on those three days. I also wrote at work, documenting and revising procedures, wrote personal and work emails, updated my work wiki on open issues, and posted to Red Room.
In reflection, I've done a lot of writing in the last three days. I'd work, then turned to post on Red Room, then write a personal email, and then return to work, and then off to the coffee shop to write and back home to work.
I cheated my employer Friday, though, giving it less time than I should after the morning meetings ended. I justified it by recounting how many hours I'd work earlier in the week, reminding myself that it will all still be there on Monday. I vowed to make it up on Monday. I'm leery of these promises. As it stands now, Monday's schedule is light. I should be able to kick out some more work, more analysis. Friday, I justified my decisions by saying that I worked for the moment. I figure I'm at will, day to day, with little expected future with the company. Since my future lies elsewhere, my eagerness to put in hard work is undermined. Took their annual mandatory online class, looked up and studied some information, updated some systems and then bolted to write.
Cold, wintry day. No sunshine, cotton gray daylight. Walking through swirling flurries, I encountered no one else. Few cars were on the road, too.
The coffee shop was busy but cold. Finding a table, I set up, retrieved my coffee and went to work, writing like crazy. Hours later, more time spent than expected, I sat back, pleased with what I'd written, amazed by the flow of scenes and words. It'd been the same Thursday. I could not type fast enough to stay up with what came out.
Trudged back home through the falling snow on a writing high. The story and scenes stayed with me. Went back to work for two more hours before calling time.
Wife and I ate Chinese take out, me with garlic chicken with vegetables and brown rice, she with veggie lo mein, broccoli with bean sauce for us to share, cats asleep around the office in careful strategic sites. We surfed the net on our computers, catching up on news and commentary, discussing events, "Maigret" through Roku playing on the television, and then "Monk". When she went to bed, I returned to writing for a few more hours, calling time on the writing day about a quarter after midnight.
I'm pleased that I'm writing so much but still frustrated with myself. I'm working on a novel while another sits, finished, but unsubmitted, unpublished. I wondered what was wrong with me. Perhaps it was fear of failing or simple cowardice holding me back from making decisions and doing things with these manuscripts and stories.
I'd pulled out my collection of manuscripts, novels written but requiring editing and revising. I stacked them on my desk, a two foot tower of paper dreams. Destroy them, I urged myself. They're on disk. Tear them up, toss them aside, start with them again. But what would destroying them achieve for me? Make way for more? But I'm already writing more. No, I need to finish.
Late last night, I put them all away. I'll keep them for another day, when the words' flow dwindles to a trickle, or other days, when I have more time or finally make the time.
I awoke and rose at six this morning and resumed typing, keeping at it for an hour before dressing and walking to the coffee shop. The snow has stopped. Sunshine rules the main stretch of blue sky kept in by the moutains' ridges but a cold wind kept stabbing my forehead, right where I imagined my third eye was situated.
I typed a few more hours at The Beanery. Now here I sit, coffee untouched, butt asleep, the noisy coffee shop around me, more words written. But what use are the written words if I don't do something with them?
My wife claims all my unpublished body of work is her retirement fund. She'll have them published after I die. Perhaps that's my secret plan, a plan so secret that I've not even told myself.
No, I know, writing is fun, editing and revising has become fun, submitting is a lot less fun. Writing is easiest though. I'm doing the easiest thing. Self publishing and submitting seems like a lot of work that leaves me going, bleah. More self-discipline is needed. I need to accep that the hard things, the things I don't want to do, are the things that I must steel myself and do.
The writing day is on pause again, for a few hours at least. It's Saturday. Time to shop and socialize.
Reading this post, I see how much I rationalize and justify to myself, arguing about who I am and what I want. It's a courtroom drama without a verdict as each side of myself gives and rebuts evidence about my existence, life and plans.
I plan to drink my coffee and leave in a few minutes, except a change to a scene just came to me. I'll just slip back in there, add those words...they won't take long....
...and then I'll be done for the day....
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com