I let my streak of writing every day end yesterday. Technically, I did sit at the computer and write, but it was of such a small amount that it didn’t overcome a few minor deletions and left me with a net word count of -40 for the day.
So why am I not counting it?
I asked myself that last night when I consciously decided I just wasn’t going to write any more and I wasn’t going to count what I’d done. The streak was dead. I read a book yesterday, finished it even (not one I’d recommend so I’ll just leave it there), and I was tired. Not too tired to write at least a few hundred words. But a hundred or two words felt like a token number just so I could count it for the streak, and I had a moment where I just thought, that’s ridiculous. And it really felt ridiculous. Even now, it feels kind of ridiculous. So I let it die.
I’ve always had a lot of difficulty figuring out exactly what I want of myself when it comes to writing, because there are so many things I want and not all of them make sense when taken together. I want to be prolific and write every day and finish books unusually fast. I want to sit down in the mornings and write until I’m tired of writing and then get on with my day. I want to split up my writing throughout the day so I don’t feel trapped in a routine. I only want to write when I want to write, but I want that to be every day.
What I do know:
Writing every day isn’t as important as writing most days. (Is this self-justification for last night’s choice?)
Writing 1,557 words every day isn’t as important as averaging 1,557 words a day. (We all know every day just isn’t going to happen in the real world. Not with something that’s going to take over an hour even on the absolute best of days.)
Still, 1,557 words a day is a nice number. A magic number, if you will, because I always feel like I can write that number of words in a very short amount of time, even if that hasn’t proven to be true, yet, with this particular book.
Knowing how other people self-publish and market doesn’t interest me. I’ll do things my way until my way doesn’t work anymore. Then I’ll worry about figuring out how to do things some other way.
I write fiction for a reason that has more to do with lifestyle than money.
What I need to do is stop thinking so much about the why and how and when, and just write.
Routines bore me. But I’m constantly fighting the feeling that I need a routine. I want one. I daydream about having one, how my life would be so calm and awesome and I’d sit down in the mornings with a cup of tea or coffee (which I no longer drink) and I’d write my words, and then I’d get up and go for a walk, then sit down with a good book, have lunch, go out, and go to bed feeling accomplished and satisfied, then I’d get up the next day and do it all over again.
It’s a very detailed daydream. ;)
The only problem is that I have no idea how to make it a reality because every time I try to get a routine going, I bail on it. I can’t take it after a while. I feel like I’m suffocating. It’s horrible. I hate it. I get bored so easily and that routine, the one I daydream about, would kill me after about three weeks.
So what do you do when the life you imagine you want isn’t the life that actually fits your personality?
I don’t know.
So here I am. It’s 8:41 pm and I haven’t written any fiction today. I did read every article I had waiting for me in Pocket—quite a few actually. They’d been building up. I talked to my mother. I watched a few episodes of television.
Now I’m feeling contemplative, but I need to start writing.
I guess I’ll do that.
Oh, and here’s an essay I read this afternoon that I can recommend and it ties in nicely to my previous post: “Avoid News: Towards a Healthy News Diet” by Rolf Dobelli. Yes, I did seek out a few articles in support of my decision to cut out news and a few of them applied quite perfectly well to forums too. I was surprised by how closely the essay mirrored some of my own thoughts.