Friday, March 30, 2007

Passing the 10K Mark

After such a long dry spell, it's really surprising to me that things have come all at once like this. I managed to do a bunch of prewriting for my fifth chapter ("The Farm"), and then I was still able to write 1,300 words on the chapter after that.

I realized two things tonight, which helped me accomplish all this. First, I've long had a habit of listening to music while I write. I listen to music while I do most everything--except read for pleasure. I've been doing a lot more reading for pleasure than I have writing recently, and I've started to realize that the music was distracting to me now. It didn't used to be--but now I try to impose the beat of the music on the passages that I reread after I write them, and that just doesn't work. So tonight was the first time I've written in silence in several years, and I think that was actually really beneficial. Hmm. You might find that obvious, but music has always helped me concentrate while I work. I'm not sure why that changed.

The second thing that I realized was that if my butt is uncomfortable, my creative motivation goes way down. I have several comfortable chairs, but nothing remains comfortable to me for hours on end these days. Taking my laptop and rotating chairs every time I got too uncomfortable was a big motivator. You know, one less thing to distract me from actually thinking about writing.

Anyway, I did indeed pass the 10,000 word mark tonight. So here's where things stand:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,311 / 95,000 (10.9%)

4 comments:

Karen Mahoney said...

Wow! You've made so much progress in the last few days. Well done, Chris, good to see you've passed that first Big Hurdle (10K). :)

Rachel said...

You know, in all the books I've ever read by writers on how to write, they always talked about how physical the job is. You need to get up and move around, remember to drink your water, change chairs, dance around a bit before sitting down again, feed the cat. So, sounds like you're getting the hang of what you need physically to get pages down.

Marva said...

Comfortable butt is everything. I've never listened to music while I worked, as a programmer, tech writer, or fiction writer. I've always found it distracting.

Good progress on your WIP!

Christopher M. Park said...

Thanks for all the support everyone!

Part of my problem these days with physical comfort is that my settings have changed a lot from when I wrote THE GUARDIAN. Back then, I was working in the company office all day, and so sitting in one chair there (and up and around talking to people and going to meetings, etc, at least some of the day). At that point, I also had a futon in my home office, and that was where I did almost all my writing--either that, or propped up in bed late at night.

But in January I started working from home full time, and I've got a giant desk now that crowded out the futon. And the desk at the computer I would write at is the same one that I sit in all day every weekday--pretty much all my meetings are by phone, unless I'm on a trip out of town, so that's a lot of hours in that one chair. By the time the evening rolls around, my butt isn't wanting to sit in that chair any longer. But I'm adjusting.

To your point in the music, Marva--for me, I got into the habit of listening to music while programming because it helped drown out the ambient office noise. Most of my music is instrumental, so having that on headphones is a heck of a lot less distracting than hearing everyone else's conversations. That's no longer an issue, obviously, but the habit has stuck for all of my non-writing computer activities.

Chris