Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Writing Writing Writing

I finished up all the stories that I started when I was doing the Depth workshop. Most of them are fairly short. I think one of them is not bad. But I have no idea how to market them or where to put them up for sale. If to put them up for sale. Still, that is one thing that I've managed so far with my summer writing challenge.

The other thing I've managed is to build a streak. I didn't find it very difficult to keep up my writing over the long weekend when I was out camping, even though I increased the word count from 100 to 300 for those unconnected days. Actually, with car camping, it's much easier because I bring my cell phone and use it as a word processor. Backpacking and writing 300 words a day will be much more challenging.

I've almost finished a story that I started years ago. I'm going to be going through it a bit to make sure it hangs together, but it is long enough that I think I'll just publish it. Too long to submit to magazines to sell. Too short to submit to traditional publishing, though I don't think I'd do that even if I had a suitable piece.

It's a story that I tried to finish at the end of last summer's challenge. I didn't make it then, but it will be finished. I'm going to finish what I start.

Which means I need to get cracking on the write up of my solo hike. I've decided that the name of it will be: Hike with Me: Idaho Centennial Trail Nevada to Hammett. Now I just need to write it. Which means making sure I get butt in seat not only for my fiction words but my nonfiction words as well. And if I get that finished up before fall, then I'll be continuing with fiction through the slow time of winter. Maybe this is the year I get serious about this writing stuff.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Happier Together

I got my husband back last weekend!

He was out of town for a whole week and I can't really express how much I missed him. I mean, the week was fine. I got through it. I did everything that I planned on doing and wasn't late for work or Crossfit. I ate my meals and went to bed on time. I kept up with my writing challenge.

But the apartment was so empty without him. And my bed was so cold.

My whole routine was off, because I had to make my own dinner instead of coming home to something hot and ready. I felt mechanical, as if I were just going through the motions to make it until he came back.

I held my emotions in abeyance, because to acknowledge how much I missed him would mean a long session of crying and I just didn't want to do that. Not without him there to comfort me - and if he were there, then I wouldn't need to cry!

Seems like it's always like that, no matter how long he's gone. I miss him terribly, but I do get through to the other side.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Butt in (New) Chair

It has not been easy to make the time for my 600 words a day. Again and again, I feel like I've run out of time by the end of the day. But again and again, I've put my butt in the chair and started writing.

This has actually gotten a little bit easier since last Friday, when the new chair I ordered online arrived. See, my old desk chair was a metal folding chair that I had put a little inflatable camping mat on for a seat cushion. It inevitably lead to my butt going numb, sometimes within half an hour. Lately, it also exacerbated the back pain, which made sitting at my computer to write somewhat less than fun.

The new chair is one of those ergonomic kneeling ones (this one). I opted to assemble it myself because it was a lot cheaper that way. I only got a little help from my husband in assembly, and I'm sure I would have figured out my problem eventually even if he hadn't said anything...

It is taking some getting used to, but it does not impact my back pain like the old one. And it forces me to sit with better posture. The cushioning is not the best, but the main weird thing about it is my shins tend to get sweaty.

So I'm writing to my goal and working long hours and still getting up for 5am Crossfit. It's all about setting priorities and committing yourself to keeping them. I made the choice again and again to make my goal instead of sleeping or relaxing or trying to attack some of my huge pile of work from home.

I'll get this writer thing down yet.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Writing Challenge 2017 Begun

I'm still recovering from last week's backpacking trip, but that's no excuse not to start up my writing challenge as planned. Monday night, after I had a chance to unwind a bit from work and eat dinner, I settled into my writing desk and stared for a few moments at the blank screen.

I had no idea what to write.

But I was determined, so it only took me a few minutes to remember that I had several story starts from the depth workshop that I could continue. I picked one at random, copied it into a new document and began to continue the story.

It did drag for a while, but by the time I had finished my 600, I actually wanted to keep going.

Tuesday I tried to think about getting started earlier, perhaps before work or during lunch, but that's not quite as easy as it sounds for me. I tend to be distracted in the morning and lazy during my lunch hour at work.

And so I was working hard to get the words finished before my 8pm 'get ready for bed' time rolled around. I did it, but it wasn't easy. I'm having to fight hard against critical voice on this story. I feel like I don't know where it's going or what it's doing. But I'll keep pushing and see what I can do with it today.

The start of a challenge is the hardest, because there's no momentum built up. Skipping a day doesn't feel like a big deal. Once I've got a few weeks under my belt, it will be easier to roll. And I've got a few more story starts to work with as well as the story that I had started just before the depth workshop to finish. I don't lack things to write, and I don't really lack time. I'm even ordering a new chair for my desk so I won't have the excuse that sitting at the current one makes my butt go numb.

Writing is important to me. Now is the time to make it a priority again.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

On the Road

When this blog posts, I hope to be about two fifths of the way through my solo trip for the year.

The sun would have risen by the 8:15 posting time. I'll be already an hour or so on the trail if everything goes according to plan.

And I'll be heading to the rendezvous with my husband at the halfway point of the journey. Maybe I'll make 10 miles by 10 am, a feat often desired by long distance thru hikers.

Or maybe it will take me a little longer.

I hope to wash my hair when I meet up with him, because I tend to get headaches if I go for more than three or four days without washing my hair. Leaving the shampoo with my husband and the resupply allows me to save a little weight.

I spent Saturday finalizing my packing. I had been working on it in a piecemeal sort of way that I'm pretty sure drove my husband to distraction in the last couple weeks, but Saturday is when it all came together. I checked everything on my list and weighed the pack.

On Sunday begins the drive. On Monday begins the hike. Today will mark the halfway point.