28 July 2007

Progress, or Lack Thereof

I managed to hammer out just over 1,000 more words for "The one with the mask" for group tomorrow. I've had two weeks to do this. I did 300 a week ago, and came up with the rest today.

Yes, I've been writing other things, which is a blessing and curse. One of the things I need to do is work on the ability to focus on a project. It's hard when ideas come flying at you, left and right. But I finally realized that each page in the notebook fleshing out a random idea could've been one page of this story. I've been editing other stories, one of which is ready to send out. I dunno, time management's always been a problem for me. Although it's usually not a matter of slacking vs. working. It's a question of what to work on, and when there's no particular deadline you're trying to meet, I feel like I can, for the most part, write what I want to write on any given day.

Which is why I finally buckled down and found a group. I promised the group more of this story, and by God I was gonna give it to them. And I did, banging out and editing 700something words, proving to me once again that (a) there's something to be said about deadlines and (b) the proven technique of sitting the fuck down and just writing something!

Part of my problem was that I psyched myself out over this story. Each instance where I sat down with the paper file and computer file open was painful. I had to force myself to do it, and I didn't know why at first. It seemed like the basic problem I had with other stories, where I knew where Point A and Point Z are, and even a decent idea of where Points C, D, N, and U are...but no idea how to connect them. I couldn't break through, despite the copious notes I took and the various techniques I've tried in the past to beat the block.

Finally I realized (a) I gotta come up with something with all the material I'd put together and (b) I've been putting mounds of undue pressure on myself. The pressure came from the fact that the first portion I submitted for critique got such a positive response that a part of me was like, "Oh shit, where do I go from here?" I wanted the next portion (okay, the rest of the story which I wanted to have finished by today) to be just as good.

See, that's bad. I have to remember that this is still a first draft. I know I've probably written some extraneous material, but I won't know it's extraneous until I'm done.

Anyway, I'll print it out once more and give it the once over, and then I'm going to call it a day. I've got 1000 words to submit tomorrow, and it's all good.