Last night was a good learning experience. I went out to the mall to pick up a few things, then decided to stop off and have dinner. While there I had a couple of drinks, as in I had some really good beer. I don’t usually drink beer anymore, because the majority of mass-produced American beer is undrinkable. Or, to quote a waiter with whom I struck up a conversation in Amsterdam in 2006, “It is like the piss, yes?” You got it, Bunky.
But this was really good beer, and before dinner was over I had two, and came home with a pretty nice glow. And absolutely no feeling what so ever to get into my story.
I shouldn’t say that. I was ready to write, and I wasn’t so loaded that I didn’t know what I was doing. But I got hung up on one thing: whether or not I wanted to start this particular section in first or third person, and that kept my mind spinning like mad.
See, it’s like this: part of Transporting is told in first person, in the form of a diary from one of the main characters. When they are narrating, the story is told in third person. So for this section of Chapter 38, I got hung up. Which way to tell it? Maddening, I tell ya.
It’s easy for writers to get distracted. There is so much going on in our lives that trying to block it all out can be a major chore. Sure, Stephen King says lock yourself in a room and do a thousand words before you do anything else, but that’s easier said than done if you have a job and kids and even . . . The Internet.
This last is something that all writers next, and we all dread. Too many shiny things out there to distract us. Yes, I need the Internet to do research, but when you got people on Facebook who want to chat, or music on YouTube that demands you come and listen now–or, worst of all, these damn games . . .
Life is bad enough in terms of keeping us distracted, but when you add the Internet into the mix, it’s like having the Goblin King looking over your shoulder clicking his tongue and saying, “No, no. You don’t want to write that. You want to come away with me to a beach where there are naked Sebacean women, and we can have pizza and margarita shooters,” and you turn around and remind him that not only is he ripping off Scorpy’s lines, but nobody has margaritas with pizza–ever!
And in case you’re wondering, I had to use the Internet to look up that last line. Research!
To write, to really write day in and out, you need some incredible will. I didn’t have that before last year. I had the rapt attention of a cat in a room full of light beams. I’m much better these days. I get up, I get coffee, I write up the blog post (like I’m doing now), then I get ready for work. When I come home I eat, decompress, chat a little, then write.
In the end I managed to get 747 words in. I was going to write more, but it was getting one towards 11 PM and I was coming up on something in the story that I didn’t want to write while feeling like I was going to fall asleep, so I left that for today.
Trust me: no beer today. Maybe a little wine, but that helps me write.
As long as I don’t drink too much . . .