The Exile Update – In Which The Enterprise Goes All Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey

Pen and longhand writing
Photosteve101 via Creative Commons 2.0, 2011

Two weeks in and it’s still taking some getting used to. Writing longhand, that is. It takes about the same amount of time to scribble out a page of prose as it does to type three into Microsoft Word. (Or Scrivener, but I quit using Scrivener. Get off my lawn!) But The Exile is progressing nicely. The flow of creating a scene is the same, just longer in duration. I already know this story is going to be short. The outline is only two pages.

But I still need to get it done, and with a honeymoon coming up in which my new bride will want me to spend more time having fun with her than scribbling a science fiction novella she likely isn’t going to read. So my goal now is to write four pages a day. Even than, that’s a challenge with everything I have going on. Saturday, I got no writing done whatsoever.

Then there’s the physical side of things. I do rideshare on the side to pay down some bills and rebuild my savings. I intended to work a bar close that night, but went home for dinner first. Unfortunately, my body said, “This ain’t happening.” I never hit the road, and I was asleep by 10:30, a rarity for a weekend whether I work or not. Between normal demands on my time and the wedding the previous weekend, my body had had enough. I was down for the count and slept in until 7:30. Yes, that’s sleeping in for me. Nine glorious hours of sleep interrupted only once by my bladder at 2:30 AM, meaning I got up only between breaks in REM sleep, and only once. I felt great the next morning.

The physical side is something we neglect. When we’re younger, we think we’re invincible. I remember once in my mid-thirties, I sat at a keyboard at about 1:30 in the morning typing with my eyes closed. I was that dedicated to getting words on paper. I suppose I could become that again, but I have to have uninterrupted stretches where I can write 1000-2000 words in a sitting, and I haven’t had that in years. Even living alone did not help that. In fact, I think I’ve written more since Candy and I moved in together than I have in the previous 10 years (a couple of bizarre weekend binges notwithstanding.) It’s good that Candy was once a published author and loves my crime stuff. I might be able to arrange a day where I do nothing but write while I take breaks to hang with her or Matt, my new stepson. I see a Sunday where I tell everyone, “I need time to write 1000 words,” then come up for air, then go back for more every two or three hours. Right now, not happening.

But the best part of the longhand experiment is that I can write just about anywhere. I went out on the porch Sunday morning while it was cool outside and knocked out two pages. I came in for breakfast and had my beautiful wife asking how I did.

Sometimes, I love being a writer. Someday, I may actually get paid more than a cup of coffee for it.

(Which reminds me. I need to focus more on marketing. Hmm…)