Chapter Four: Writing a Novel in Five Days While Traveling
WRITING A NOVEL IN FIVE DAYS WHILE TRAVELING…
Second day of writing on the novel and it was difficult, as I expected. For a couple of reasons I’ll talk about below.
But it still happened and I got just over 7,600 words done.
So day two was a success. Not as planned, but as expected.
Detailing out the Day
I made it out of bed by noon and by 1 p.m. I had showered, gotten dressed, and was headed for lunch with the guys in the buffet.
I was exhausted and my shoulders felt like rocks. Writing this many words (over nine thousand yesterday plus e-mails) is a physical sport to not take lightly. I did my best to set up this hotel room in a comfortable fashion, but even at home, writing 9,000 plus words in a day would have frozen up my shoulders the following day.
Back to the room around 3:30 p.m. after some fun discussions and too much food. So I took a nap. (The afternoon poker tournament was cancelled for some reason, so didn’t even have to face that decision.)
Woke up feeling even worse, but managed to sit down and get 1,200 words done by 5:30. A short break and another 1,300 words by 6:30 p.m.
Another nap, barely waking up in time to meet the guys at 8 p.m. for dinner. Feeling a little better by then, but not much.
We made it back to the Nugget after dinner by ten to play in the 10 p.m. poker tournament, but I only had 2,500 words and was still feeling like crap at that point. So I skipped it and came back to the room.
A third short nap and I got to writing around 11 p.m.
Between 11 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., with short breaks, I wrote 5,100 more words. I was going to push more but still had to write this chapter of this book.
So 7,600 words of fiction for the day. Another day on target.
Two down, three to go.
Some Expected Problems
I have been writing long enough to know that the second day after a sudden jump to a large day of writing is always painful. The third day, tomorrow, I expect will be easier, and from there I expect this to be a cruise to the end.
But a couple of real issues face you when traveling.
No one I know doesn’t get tired while traveling. Lots and lots of obvious reasons for this. When trying to also write, I discovered my brain (from the new stuff around me) feels overloaded and scattered. And the exhaustion doesn’t help.
It takes a real focus to just not say, “To hell with it.”
So when traveling, expect exhaustion to hit on the second day after you arrive. If you are trying to hit a deadline or a quota as I am this trip, expect exhaustion ahead of time and be gentle with yourself. Notice I took three naps today. And didn’t play poker.
— Physical Issues.
Yes, typing is a physical thing. And it takes practice and work to build up to a level like I am doing this trip. But if you have been following my blog, you know that lately I haven’t been working at this level on my writing. I’ve been doing many other things.
So suddenly I jumped to over nine thousand words. I expected the rock shoulders this morning. Didn’t like them, but I had Advil with me to help and took the Advil right before a nap.
I expect tomorrow the shoulders will be stiff and sore still, but not as bad.
In other words, practice at levels of production helps the stress. And helps the muscles get used to that level of production. Just be prepared for that even if you are ramping up production at home.
— Focus Issues.
This is a problem that hits on the second and third days of something like this. The only way I know to deal with this issue is to set your goals firmly ahead of time and then through the various distractions and exhaustions, keep the goals firmly in mind.
Today I found that tough. And to be honest, if I had had a laptop sitting here, I might not have opened it. But having this big screen sitting here glowing at me sort of kept me reminded every time I woke up that I needed to be focused.
I didn’t expect that, but it turned out to be a nice bonus. Go figure.
Tomorrow will be another focus issue day because I have numbers of things planned. So I will talk more on this topic in a coming chapter.
So now I am going to go get six hours of sleep so I can again meet the guys in the buffet tomorrow morning for breakfast at one.
The Writing of ACE HIGH: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery
Day 1… Words written… 8,000. Total so far… 8,000 words.
Day 2… Words written… 7,600. Total so far… 15,600 words.
Talk about pushing through… Inspiring!
This is a goofy question. Do you just keep your computer on with the novel document open at all times? Then, when you want to write, you just sit down and fire away? (And that’s why the glowing screen eyeballs you?) 🙂
Yeah, pretty much.