Writing: Writing is happening! After a month or so of writer’s block I am happily writing regularly now. Last week I had a moment. You know, when of those moment’s of clarity where pieces mentally fall into place. Add to it a healthy dose of stubbornness and determination and I sat down to write.
I was going to make it happen. I’d been having ideas for my fantasy trilogy for a few days and jotted them down but it was really Tuesday that the magic happened. I went to my favorite writing spot and since it was a Tuesday, the elderly table hording ladies were there. I didn’t get irritated (shocking right?) I simply sat somewhere else. I arranged all my paraphernalia and turned on the laptop.
Somehow I knew I would successfully write. I set myself a goal and posted on Facebook about it. I stated my goal was 1600 words but since I’d had writer’s block for so long I would be satisfied with 3000. In the first hour I wrote 1700. The only reason I stopped was my back was hurting from hunching over and I desperately needed a break. It happened to be lunch time so I ate as fast as I reasonably could and got back to work. Did I mention when the table stealers left I didn’t bother to move to MY table? It just didn’t matter.
I ended up with almost 3000 words. I’d joked about wanting this much but honestly I would have been happy with five hundred and overjoyed to get to 1000. In truth, being blocked on this story was the best thing for me. When I wasn’t able to write I was still able to think about it. My muse was in hiding but whispering.
As it turned out, there were several key changes needed in the novel and this month of only thinking made me realize it. Basically I’m rewriting the story. There is a lot of salvageable material from what I previously wrote but the beginning needed an overhaul so I started there. As I wrote I would check the old stuff and if I found something usable I kept it and moved on to the next scene. I didn’t add any of the previous stuff to the new Scrivener file because I want to be able to see my word count progress but I will put it all in soon.
It’s not too complicated or time consuming to flip back and forth between the two files so it works out. Besides, I have so many words trying to come out of me that little stops aren’t hurting my creative flow at all. I also try to have a game plan and glance over all the material before getting started.
Since Tuesday, on the days I’ve written, I’ve managed around 3000 words each time. I know I can’t keep up this pace every single day but I’m glad of it for now. I reset my goal to 1000 words so I don’t freak myself out when I have a day where the words aren’t pouring out.
A few days before my writing breakthrough I replotted the entire trilogy. I don’t do real outlines, I use index cards with scene sentences on them. I have one small wall outside my bedroom covered in cork board squares I use to pin up the scene cards for the first book. When I finished I did the same with book two on a medium-sized cork board and book three on a large one and put them on various walls.
It was particularly helpful because I realized there were some scenes (already written) that worked but not where they were located on the timeline. It’s very easy to rearrange index cards and then later move scenes in Scrivener in the same way. The story now made much more sense and flowed better.
As you can imagine I was so excited to write and thrilled with the results. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress. I hope to be finished with the first draft before November so I can possibly write book two for Nanowrimo.
Medical: It sucks, kind of. I had a CT scan and then a follow-up with my surgeon on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. I’m still in a lot of pain fairly often and I found out why. The fusion has not bridged yet. That means bone has not grown up over the rod and screws to connect to the next vertebrae above it. In short, I’m healing very slowly. My mom had almost the same surgery a year before me and hers were basically finished healing in 12 weeks. It’s been six months for me. I wish I’d inherited her superhuman healing powers.
I can take Ibuprofen now so I have another option. I try not to take anything unless I have to though. The important thing is I’m heading in the right direction, just not as fast as I’d like. In six months I need to have another scan to make sure my screws haven’t loosened (insert mockery here). If new bone doesn’t cover them this is a danger.
The downside to writing so much is it means I sit in one position for too long and increase the pain. Honestly I’m okay with it. Pain sucks but I’m not going to let it interfere with writing anyone. I have no choice but to deal with pain anyway, so I might as well write. When I’m being smart, I set a timer and get up and move around every 15 to 20 minutes. Even simply shifting position helps. When I’m writing it’s easy to get so into it I’m unaware of the passage of time until my back reminds me.
Working out/PT: I stopped going to physical therapy and now am able to do some exercises in the gym. I get on the elliptical daily for at least 15 minutes. If I’m not hurting then I stay on. Every other day I do some of the machines. I can’t lift anything straight over my head, which is fine because I’m a weakling. I can’t push out in front of me which is also fine for the same reason. I can do bench presses but I don’t at the gym because I feel too awkward. No weighted squats are allowed so I do regular ones at home.
I can use hip abductor machines and all the leg machines. No ab machines or twisting things. I can use the machines for arms and I was told I can do leg presses but when I did it hurt so I scratched it off the list. My legs are strong so I don’t feel I’m missing out. There are a few more exercises I can do at home and sometimes I do. I’m very disciplined if I’m in the gym and not so much when at home.
Photography: Nope. I haven’t taken photos since my vacation in NJ. I plan to take a couple of classes on Photoshop and Lightroom but I haven’t because concentrating on photography will knock me right out of writing mode.
Drawing: Same as photography. I don’t want to change creative zones at this point.
That’s all for now. Time to go make some stuff up. Have a great week everyone!