It’s all a work in progress

Hmm. It’s possible I was overly optimistic about my start time today for writing, since I was trying to make up for a really short night of sleep the night before.

You see, the night before last, I stayed up and binge watched Stranger Things on Netflix. I shouldn’t have, and I didn’t mean to, certainly, but once I got started watching it, I couldn’t quit. I think my lack of self-control is tied in to everything that’s been going on with my writing. On the other hand, I burned myself out and I’m going on a TV watching hiatus outside of my lunch break. (I watch TV during that time with my daughter and she would not be happy with me if I cut out that time together. So, not giving that up.)

Because of how tired I was yesterday, I stayed up late last night. I know that sounds at odds with how that’s supposed to work, but for some reason, when I’m desperately tired because of lack of sleep, I find it much easier to stay up late. I get a surge of energy in the evenings, usually around 8 or 9 o’clock and I start to feel like I can finally make up for a lackluster day. It’s a routine, or might as well be. It’s also one reason I have a hard time getting back into good sleep patterns when I mess up even just one night—and it’s why I try not to do that. I didn’t succeed last night and ended up getting to sleep around 12:30 AM. So of course, this morning I woke up at 6:56 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep, although I did try. I shouldn’t have. It did no good and it led me to getting up much later than I wanted to get up today.

It’s also put me off my stride and I’m struggling to get started this morning.

Not only that, but there’s a leak in a pipe in the basement and a repairman is here to fix it, and that’s also been a distraction.

But… even though I know it’s late, I’m about to try anyway. Since no one is here to notice that I’m not stopping at 11 AM today (the 11 AM to 2 PM break is not a break so much as it’s reserved non-work time), I’m going to write from now until 12 and then stop. After that, I’ll restart at 2 PM and go from there.

The goal today is unchanged: 3,233 words.

One thing you won’t find mention of is the multiple books experiment. I think it really works for me, but… I also think it has its flaws. If I’m still going to end up struggling to write the way I’ve been struggling these past two months, I think it’s best if I focus all my energy on one book at a time.

I have a sneaking suspicion that part of the reason I’m having such a hard time with the particular book I’m working on now is because I’ve spread it out over such a long time period. According to the files in my backups folder, I made my first backup of that story back on 2/8/2015. That means I’ve been working on this book, in one way or another, for almost 18 months. That’s too long to spend on a book. I lose interest. I lose focus. I can’t write without either of those. I lose the threads of the story, and that’s worst of all, I think, because it leads to the other two problems.

This is something I just realized a few days ago. The multiple stories experiment has failed to keep me writing. If I’m going to struggle, I might as well reserve that struggle for one book so I can have a better chance of keeping up my momentum with whatever particular story I’m working on.

Anyway, it’s all a work in progress. I keep feeling like someday I’ll find the perfect system that’ll keep writing fun and keep me writing, but the truth is I know that’s not going to happen. I just have to keep doing whatever it takes to make as much progress as I can. I do love to write when a story is going well, and I’m happier doing this than I’ve ever been at any of my previous jobs. It’ll work out if I just keep moving. :)