I’m back with the first Sunday Stats post in a while. Before we get to the main part of the post, which is all about me (like so many things), let me take this opportunity to wish the Siren and my mother, Unfocused Ma, a very happy Mother’s Day.
The Siren, the kids, and I just got back from a nice Mother’s Day brunch with the Siren’s mother and brother. I actually made an appearance at their church this morning, because the kids’ choir had a performance. Junior has pretty emphatically gotten over the stage fright he suffered from in his younger days, and, like Unfocused Girl, gives signs of having inherited at least some of the Siren’s musical talent.
On to the stats:
On Writing: I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to put Meet the Larssons on the back burner for a while. I’m not trunking it, but I need some distance from it. I was getting bogged down in the rewrite, and I was starting to bore myself.
Instead, I started writing Project Hometown, the novel I outlined over the winter. I’m 3,192 words into it; not great for a couple of weeks worth of work, but not terrible. The real problem is that I fell out of the habit of writing every day, and my authorial muscles have atrophied. As I said in my previous post, I have become an undisciplined wretch. I’m slowly starting to get back into the groove, and since I did so much work on the front end I’m optimistic that as I get back into the habit of writing, the story itself should come more easily than MTL did.
On Running: 10 miles this morning, in 1:33:16. Like last week, today’s run was slow and painful. My legs have felt terrible for the last couple of weeks: my hamstrings are tight, the tendons alongside my hips are sore, I occasionally have bizarre pains in my knees just from crossing my legs. I’m not entirely sure what the problem is, since I kept up my running pretty well through the winter and crummy first half of spring thanks to the treadmill, but I have some ideas based what’s changed in my exercise habits over the past year. I think the primary issue is that I’m lifting weights much less frequently, and doing fewer exercises when I do; in particular, I almost never do any real strength training for my legs. Running works some of the muscles, but ignores others, leading to significant muscle imbalances; if I did more strength training for my legs, they’d probably hurt less.
I’m also, for a variety of reasons, more pressed for time than I was a year ago, and find myself skipping the post-run stretching as often as not. Today, for example, I had to rush to get showered and dressed as soon as I finished my run in order to get to the church in time for the kids’ concert. I didn’t stretch at all, and by the time I got out of the car in the church parking lot, I was so stiff I had to limp all the way in. The stiffness worked itself out, but that kind of negligence is going to cost me, and probably already has.
Time, time, time. That’s what it always comes down to. As it is, I’ve stripped away as many distractions as I can. I read less than I used to, and I watch almost no television. I suppose I could drop Facebook and Twitter, but keeping up social contacts, even over the interwebs, feels like it’s worth doing. I want to spend more time with my family, not less; I still need to work for a living, and I don’t get enough sleep as it is.
I don’t think there’s really an answer here, just a constant rebalancing of competing priorities. I can live with that if I keep reminding myself that it’s a long race, and if I can keep from hitting the wall or blowing out a knee, I’ll get to the finish line eventually. Not a particularly deep thought — I have a t-shirt that says “Life is a marathon, not a sprint” which sums it up nicely — but then, I’m not a particularly deep person, so a personal philosophy that fits on a t-shirt is probably about right for me.
You’ll get those writing muscles back to full strength soon. They just need a little flexing is all :)
Yeah, time. It’s a bitch. I have, when I’m lucky, one hour at lunchtime a couple workdays a week. Period. So, my accomplishments in the writing realm are modest. And yet, I do get writing done. Exercise? Not so much.
I know the feeling of it being hard getting back into it. I was the same last week trying to pry out some flash fiction for Virginia’s flash fiction carnival.
Now I’m in the groove again, I need to remind myself to keep at it or I’ll fall out of practice again.
I’ve been putting off revising Neither Here nor There…. and yesterday I woke up with back pain which while not severe, I still have today. So no walking or weights today.
I need extra hours in the day, that’s all there is to it. I’d take an extra day every week, too, but only if it were an extra weekend day.
I totally agree with the necessity of “trunking” a book for a while, especially when the first draft is done. Non-writers don’t get that …. it’s all, “well, don’t you want it finished and out the door?” but I would rather it be good first.
Tad Williams says the rewrite is so hard because when you finished the first draft you completed the story and said goodbye to the characters. Re-writing is like resurrecting the corpses for the purpose of poking them with sticks. But it’s necessary, and there’s always the possiblity of calling down the lightning bolt and re-animating them, I suppose.
and i totally need a novelists support group here….