Yes, yes, it’s been a long time. It’s not you, it’s me.
Not much to report except for writing writing writing, at least this past couple of weeks. I did a half0hearted attaempt at Nanowrimo, hoping to complete a novella in that month, even if I didn’t write an entire 50,000 novel. I even started it, got out my little moleskine notebook and everything. I can’t really explain why it never went anywhere but there except to say that I just didn’t have it in me this November, so I gave myself a break and moved on. I still have the novella rattling around in the back of my head, but it’s not ready yet. I’ll write in when it is.
So I spent November and December pretty bummed out and finding myself not able to write anything. I made some edits on the novel but didn’t really get anything done at all, and I wasn’t really sure why. I was just in a funk, I guess. It happens.
Then the new Year hit and things still weren’t happening and I was getting more and more bummed out about it. I started doing a little better, got some more chapters edited and out to first readers (shout-out to Mel and Jon).
There’s a post in here somewhere about Bipolar disorder and how it relates to the creative process, but that’ll be another aside later.
At the end of January I joined my wife in her “great activity challenge.” Now, in the past sixth months she has been on a fitness and weight loss journey that so far has resulted in the loss of 70 lbs. Knowing the exercise was getting a little challenging for her, she created a facebook group and challenged all of her friends to do 30 minutes of activity every day, and keep each other accountable. There’s even a cash prize involved. I joined the challenge with the goal of training to run a 5k. I know that seems like a ridiculously small goal to anybody who runs at all regularly, but it’s my goal. I want to be able to run with my daughter at her next 5k event.
To keep myself motivated through long, boring hours on the treadmill, I (my wife, actually) set up a laptop stand so I can watch movies while I run and do incline hikes. Currently I am alternating disks rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Farscape (I didn’t say I was proud of it). My running capacity, though still embarrassing, has been improving and I’ve kept the asthma attacks to a minimum.
And as I did that, I started writing more. I finally finished the two short stories I’ve had half-completed since September and started sending them out (Lightspeed magazine rejects REAL fast, people). I got back to work on the novel, and as I got my butt back in the seat things started happening again.
Last week I had an idea dump, fully-formed, into my head (see, mania can be fun sometimes). I’ve been looking for my next project, thought the novella was going to be it, but then this happened. It’s a YA concept, which I’m especially excited about because I used to teach middle school and I would love to write for that audience.
But wait, you say. If I start working on something new and exciting doesn’t that mean I’ll abandon the novel? I can’t abandon the novel mostly because my wife will kill me if I show myself, once again, unable to finish something. And I don’t want to. So what I’ve done is set myself up with a real writing schedule. I try to write three hours a day. One hour is on novel edits. One hour on snowflake outlining the new thing, one hour on short stories and other projects (like blogging). I can’t always do three hours a day, but almost always I can get at least one in. I have no day job so I really have no excuse. It’s been a week and a half of this and I’ve gotten four chapters edited, and a good start on having the YA project completely mapped out. I also started a new short story to go out there and bounce around with the others.
Tonight I realized I now have the first third of my novel edited, so I printed it all out and put it in a nice binder under the book cover I geekily designed. That’s over 200 pages of work done now. I needed it all printed out so I can refer to it as I continue to revise, but it’s nice to know that it’s hefty enough to be used in self defense if it should come to that (those rabbits can get pretty uppity sometimes).
So that’s the state of the Chad as it is right now. I plan to update this blog more often. I have it on the schedule and everything.