I wound up writing for about 7 hours yesterday (with interruptions to cook stuff, serve dinner, and deal with a few catch up matters). I wrote 2713 words, which may not sound like a lot to some people, but may possibly be as many as I managed in the entire month of December. It was such a lovely day. Sleep in. Leisurely cup of tea. Work out AFTER I’m actually conscious. And then nothing but writing, all day. After which I finished reading Melissa Francis’s Bite Me (which I’d been saving for when I needed a laugh–she definitely delivers!). I can’t help but wish we’d be struck by a real blizzard (we got, grand total, 20 minutes of “ooooh pretty!” snow, then rain, then nothing) so that I’d get another 3 or 4 days of this. I could actually finish this novella under those conditions. My soul feels nourished, my sanity restored. To those of you fortunate enough not to require a day job or three, I envy you.
I think that’s one of the biggest frustrations (and, if I’m honest, resentments–I resent the hell out of every minute of those day jobs for taking me away from what I want to do) for me as a writer. That I do have that day job or three, and it pulls my head out of the story much of the time. I’m not good at multitasking my fiction. I can’t just change lanes from business/research/academic writing and jump back into whatever my current story is. That would be like the mental equivalent of shifting off a multi-lane, stacked up Dallas interchange onto a meandering dirt road at 90 mph. It takes time, which is at a premium. At least half of my writing time each day is spent trying to get my head back where it needs to be.
So that’s something I want to work on this year–finding a way to juggle the stuff I can’t throw away while keeping my head more firmly in the game, keeping myself closer to the story in order to cut down on the reset time and maximize the writing time. Because I have dreams, by damn. And the more productive I can be, the faster I’ll be able to drop some of the non-writing stuff off my plate.
Any suggestions? How do you keep your brain on the story when you have to pay attention to other stuff? How do you keep yourself prepped to write whenever you have a spare five minutes?