Layoffs, knee problems, broken iPod, internet brownouts at home all weekend, various and sundry other issues. I was never very into poetry, but I find I keep thinking of Yeats (yes, I had to look that up to be sure) these days:
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Not a terribly original reference, and things could be worse, of course: in Russia, they’re trading cars for underwear, which probably confirms something I always suspected about Russian cars. I haven’t been able to accomplish much of anything this week, in any part of my life, but what the hell. I’ll start over on Monday. Again.
On Writing: Bubkis. Okay, five pages of revisions in Meet the Larssons — the moral equivalent of jack squat. Seriously, I just haven’t had the mental energy, and I’m in a dark place with this book. I can’t seem to make the time to work on it except on the train, and I’m just completely disconnected from it. I am about as close to chucking the entire thing on the grill and burning it as I have ever been. I don’t expect I will, but I’m doing something wrong. I stopped working on other projects to make some progress on the novel, and after an initial burst of effort, I’ve now hit a point where I’m simply failing to accomplish anything and I’m losing the will to try. I’m supposed to be going to a writer’s conference in town this week, and it’s going to take everything I’ve got not to just go to my office instead and close my door.
On Running: Another nice Sunday morning, and I ran 10 miles in 1:25 – an 8:30 pace. A pretty good pace, considering how much time I’ve been stuck inside and how inconsistent my training has been; also the high point of my week.
On the iPod: The Siren has installed a shelf on the treadmill for our laptops. I watched the first two episodes of Tin Man, a three-part SciFi miniseries adaptation of the Wizard of Oz, steampunk-style, which I’ve had on iTunes forever. On my long run today, I listened to I Should Be Writing #110 (interview with YA author Courtney Summers) and Escape Pod #187 (“Summer in Paris, Light from the Sky,” by Ken Scholes). I was very happy and surprised to see the new Escape Pod show up in the feed, and I’m glad host Steve Eley is back. He said in his closing comments that he has turned over business and production duties to others, to ensure that the show can continue even when he gets too busy with his day job or personal life, but selecting the stories will continue to be Steve’s sole responsibility; if “Summer in Paris” is representative of what he’s got in the pipeline for 2009, it’s going to be a very good year for Escape Pod.
That’s all I’ve got for the stats this week. I’d like to end with a more cheerful note, because things are rarely as bad as they may seem, and really, things aren’t that bad. So forget about the Yeats, and take a look at this:
I just finished my second draft and sent it to the Betas. I understand exactly what you mean. Maybe what you need is a few days off to let the neurons cool down. Making lists of characters, situations and themes/plots helped me see what was hidden that I was ignoring. May well be a plot line you bypassed or a character who is telling you that he/she is not going to do what you are asking them to do.
My advice for the novel is to put it down for a few months – maybe as long as 6 – and then reread it. You will have a fresh perspective and may pick up where the flaws may be. You’re too close to it now to see the forest for the trees.
Hey Unfocused Me,
I agree with the others who posted above. The last few days, after weeks of intensive writing, I needed to take a little break. Every writer needs to rest sometimes.
And you’ve gone through a lot the last couple of weeks. Give yourself some time to regroup mentally/physically/emotionally.
All the best to you.
Thanks, all. I spent yesterday evening outlining scenes for a science fiction novel idea I had a couple of weeks ago, something a little lighter and completely different from what I’ve been working on, and felt a little better. I’m not quite ready to put MTL in a box for half a year, but I can see getting there if I continue to be so blocked on the rewrite. What this last couple of weeks has made painfully clear to me is that I can’t have this rewrite be my only creative outlet; I need to have another project in first draft going at the same time.
That also helps.
First time here, but I just did a little snooping around and wanted to say, “Hey, great stuff!” Keep it up.
Thanks for coming by — I’m glad you’ve started your blog back up.