A day in my writing life

The day is like any other: hearing the alarm to get out of bed and promptly ignoring it.

Promising myself to take a short shower but spending enough time in there to cook a small roast. By the time breakfast has been consumed and I’m ready to think about starting to write, I am an hour behind the schedule set the previous night.

Next comes the thoughts of “can I be bothered today?” This is usually preceded by a quick glance at the gaming system I am playing my latest video game on. Orcs, aliens and zombies are not going to kill themselves after all. Treating the wanton destruction of digital enemies as a reward puts my mind into the state of ruthless bloodthirstiness required to navigate my notes.

Said notes are strewn across my whiteboard, text files on the computer and scrap paper that I jotted thought’s down as they occurred and should have been transcribed to electronic format weeks ago. They help stir the congealed creative juices and remind me of where I was taking the story.

Next I take the time to read my previous few chapters to get into the flow of the narrative, get back into the mindset of the characters and figure out how to take the adventure forward. This process only delays me for two of my five hour window while I make quick edits and check on my word choices. After scouring the Internet for exact meanings of words I confirm they are indeed correct and I recall deciding the same thing when I first typed them last session.

Before I can get started on the fresh content I need to quench my thirst and quell my hunger from the rampant procrastination. I tell myself all this time is needed to solidify my thoughts and begin typing sentences I’ll likely edit the crap out of next session only to return it to what I typed today.

The actual writing is easy once I get started. Action sequences are the easiest as I already have them playing in my head and I just need to commit it to words. Conversations are the hardest as they need to be brief, provide plot details, remain within character of the speakers, give enough information to drive actions but not too much to seem like exposition, all while maintaining intrigue and sufficient emotion. Plus if there is no action included they just seem like floating heads talking in the clouds.

When I reach my goal for the session, either word count or a specific part of the plot, I save my file, back it up in two additional places including cloud storage and move on to the final critical aspect.

I state unequivocally that next time I will get up on time, not procrastinate and double the word count. Killing those pesky orcs, aliens and zombies soothes the sting of broken self-promises.

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© AJ Watson