Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The wall?

Runners call that point where your body gives out and you can't run anymore the Wall. Writers also call it that. In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy digs through his wall. Red takes a little longer, but people see obstacles in different ways, and sometimes the wall is in your head.

Freedom is perception. I've been staring at my wall, wondering where the chinks were when all I needed was to get up and start walking. When it comes to getting published, you need some kind of production schedule. I attended Stephanie Bond's lecture because I wanted someone to smack me with the truth, and to her credit--she did.

She did a breakdown of how long it took to write a page, then a couple of pages and said, "How long does it take you to write those pages? All day? No, it takes a couple of hours." And the truth was that I waste hours every day. The nine usable hours I have after work--are nine usable hours.

In the same way that I don't cook dinner all night, or take forever on laundry--once I sit down to write, I'm not trapped, staring at the wall and waiting for my muse. I write, and I'm free to get up and move on, or take a break and sit down again.

Until recently, I believed people when they said you had to give up stuff. Time is finite, and you have to hoard it. The idea of putting my writing on a to-do list wasn't an option. But I've been sitting down for a couple of hours every night and words come because I know there's an end to it. I keep all my projects open at the bottom of the screen and when I can't work on one thing, I work on the other. Freedom is perception.

...and a to-do list.

6 comments:

Deanna said...

A set (yet somewhat flexible) routine is great. I begin to think that even if I did work away from home, I'd be able to keep my writing schedule pretty well. But I'm not looking to test my theory - for now I'll let you. :o)

Jeanna said...

Boy I hear ya. I met a wall I thought I'd already torn down and emailed on deadline last night.
After being force fed spaghetti and meatballs, red wine and the Olympics, I found a story I actually filed at a reasonable time earlier back on my lap at midnight.
And under the influence of all of the above and Mambas and Milk Duds, I rewrote it in my sleep and resent. Yadda, yadda, yadda, today I'm afraid to see what I wrote.
Sometimes walls are there for a reason.

jodi said...

thanks, Deanna :) I'll run with the theory and see where it gets me a year from now

Jeanna, I don't envy you. I think you need more Mambas and maybe a Sugar Daddy lollipop. And I also think we both need an energy drink, so I'm off to drink my AMP.

Jeanna said...

I finished them off for breakfast. Haven't had a Sugar Daddy for awhile. Take that any which way.

Alice Audrey said...

I love to-do lists. Without them I never get anything at all done.

BTW, thin woman? What part of my blog was it on? If it's the Flickr thing, I don't control that. It's a generalized feed for those of us who don't have accounts with them.

Unhinged said...

My wall is TOTALLY in my head, but inches thick nonetheless. I've just been walking alongside it, not trying to scale it or break through it. I guess I'm not ready for the other side yet.

I'm mentally preparing myself to start thinking and writing affirmations, though. Makes me cringe. I'm terrified.