I ended up taking a couple extra weeks in my blog break. Sorry for the delay in my return, but it’s been very productive for my writing. I’ve been hard at work on my first draft of Book 3 of The Unbelievables. I’ve laid down 56k words (218 pages) of the first draft between December 11 and Jan 26.
It’s been a while since I worked on a first draft. I’d forgotten how much fun and how much frustration there is. The blank page means I can do almost anything, but that means lots of decisions. With revisions, I’m working on tightening the story and polishing it up. With the first draft, I’m laying out the story bones and building the story as I go. It’s exciting but it’s also a bit overwhelming at times.
I started out with a 3-page synopsis. And I thought this is all I need. Structure without confinement. But then I realized how many scenes I had to just create from scratch as I went along. (Mind you, I’ve discovered when I do a scene-by-scene outline, it makes a far worse first draft.)
I originally aimed for 2k a day of writing 5 days a week, but that didn’t work out due to my reoccurring vertigo. So I scaled down to 1700 a day. But I was still struggling to hit that. Between doctor appointments and teaching and family obligations over the holidays, I was feeling super stressed. So I finally ended up at 1500 words a day. I was bummed out by the decline in my writing prowess. Normally, I get faster and better with each book. This was a slide back to how I wrote 2 books ago.
But I showed up each day and it paid off. I also started a new medication to treat my recurring vertigo and it sharpened my mind tremendously. I’m consistently writing 1700 words a day now. Woohoo!
I made time for my hobbies again. I have been teaching myself to make my favorite Chinese dishes (I so miss living 20 minutes from Chinatown).
(Egg Drop Soup, Mongolian Beef, & Pork Dumplings)
I’ve started re-reading my favorite manga (Land of the Blindfolded) and watching anime (Magic Knights Rayearth, Inuyasha, Soul Eater) again. I forgot how much I loved these stories. And I’m reading more books too!
I’ve spent more time with friends.
I’ve also started reading poetry again. I used to love poetry when I was a tween and teen. Yeats, Poe, Rilke. I actually like to read it aloud to myself and see how the words roll around on my tongue and hit my ear.
So until I finish this first draft, I’m going to be here once month and on Facebook and Twitter once a week.
Have you found yourself returning to old hobbies or starting new ones? How are you managing your social media time?