I have these clear memories of Summer 2000. I just cleared sixth grade with a dumb graduation where we all stood on bleachers singing "Graduation Song" by Vitamin C, and I was weeks away from starting my grand adventure in middle school. In the interim, I sat on my computer, legs crossed, fan blowing in my face, and a cup of ice by my side.
I wrote from eight in the morning to eleven at night. I typed the hell out of a high fantasy saga. I didn't go outside, I didn't play with friends, I just clickity-clack-cobbled a story together about a dragon princess and a lowly stableboy and their army of fire-breathing monster buddies, and I was in Heaven.
Didn't get much better than that.
So why is it that now I sit at a table, scribbling senseless doodles and wishing I had more chores to do?
To be fair, it's probably because the dragon princess saga sucked and I never went back and revised it.
But then I remember how much I enjoyed revising my other manuscript, way back in college, and how I would sit on my bed in my crappy little Chicago apartment and listen to Modest Mouse and thread all of the threads.
I tell myself I'm lucky, to have all this time to write, to focus solely on this book and get it out there. And then I start to realize that perhaps it's the pressure of writing so many hours a day that is making me balk.
So I've tried to be nicer to myself lately. Work as long as you can, come up with a reasonable goal, and get at least that much done.
It's been working so far. While I had the unreasonable goal to get to the end of my manuscript by the end of this week, I have gotten a good chunk of pages closer to the end. In mid-September, I started rewrites, and now I'm a third of the way done. That's not anything to shake your head at.
Just a little every day. Don't have to save the world all at once.
Bring me my ice cubes.
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Dawson is a writer. This is her blog. In it, you shall read about reading. And writing. And cheeseburgers. Sometimes there are tangents. Huzzah.