Monday, October 31, 2011

Extra-extra long weekend

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Melbourne Cup Day -- the 'race that stops a nation'. I used to be a fan of the Spring Racing Carnival, but I haven't been to anything for a few years now. A group of friends and I used to dress up -- hats and all -- and make a special day of it. Usually Oaks Day. Now, though? It's too crowded and too expensive and I just can't be bothered.

Oh, old and grinchy am I!

Given Tuesday is a public holiday in Melbourne, many people take Monday off as well. Which means that good old Melbourne town begins to wind down on Friday afternoon and doesn't really rev back up again until Wednesday morning. This little window of unofficial 'holiday' means I don't get very many emails, or phone calls, or other work demands. And for the past few years, I've taken advantage of that fact by having a little writing spree.

A few years ago, I did NaNoWriMo, but after that one time, I haven't done it again. It's a great exercise, and really great for getting into the habit of writing every day. But I already have those habits and didn't need the extra pressure!

This year's writing spree has come at a perfect time. I'm facing down my first-ever deadline as a published author and my book was misbehaving on me -- characters not doing the right thing, story arcs not cooperating. So I sat down on Saturday morning and started writing. I spent most of Sunday doing it too. Today I've done another good chunk and by tomorrow, I'm hoping I'll be getting close to 90% done with this one. Well, maybe 75%, now that I think about it, but I'll be close -- and I always find that last little bit moves reasonably easy.

The trick, I've found, is to find a balance between a solid effort and an 'overdose'. Doing too much is like driving a car too fast -- my brain overheats and there's nothing to be done except stop and let it cool down. Which is frustrating and feels like wasted time. So here I am, blogging instead of writing and about to head out and run a few errands. Hopefully, when I get back to the computer, there'll be a few more puffs of energy left in me to finish the scene I started writing this morning. And then another fresh start awaiting me tomorrow!

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