Friday, September 16, 2011

Countdown: Eight

These two are some of the most popular images I've put up on my blog. They get downloaded all the time. Recently, I did a search to see whether or not any of my art was being used on-line. I found these on some dude's site. The site was in a Northern European language I could not clearly identify, but these were in a list of images labeled WHAT I'M ALL ABOUT.

Well, all right. Providing stoners with self-image is a service I feel naturally qualified to provide.

And today's starting word count? 27,280

So. The good news? Yesterday I got a little over four thousand words down. The bad news? Two days into the countdown, I'm three thousand words down. I knew I was going to have trouble on this section, but it's done.

Three reasonable ways to look at this.

One, I seem to have set myself a difficult goal. If I keep up at this rate? My initial estimate of two, three weeks to finish the work would prove accurate. If I buckle down and try harder? Well, the work ahead of me is much easier than the work behind me. Almost all the scenes are blocked out in proper order, a lot of the writing is still functional after I pull it into the present tense. I may still have a chance.

Two, of course I have a chance. Even if I miss the ten days, I've got an extra day before... well. There's a deadline motive I haven't mentioned. I ain't gonna tell you right now, but I'll spill it in the next few days. But I have an extra day, if I stay on track, three thousand words in a day is fine.

Three. Since this stuff is going to be easier, maybe I should just break it down into slightly larger chunks and make sure that each day's work gets finished no matter what.

That certainly sounds reasonable.

I'm not gonna be reasonable. I put myself here for a purpose, goddamnit.

So what would a genius do? He would change his work procedure, rewire his brain, and clock in more manuscript pages than ever before, not just recovering lost ground but gaining a safety net.

I like that word 'genius.' I always wonder whether or not I get to self-apply it.

Here is the issue.

Writing is tremendously fatiguing for me. As I work, I have to continually resist the urge to take little breaks, and I actually do have to break quite frequently. Usually, I can only do three or four hours worth of writing in a day before my brain says, "Fuck you."

Art? Art is refreshing. I can do art for hours and hours and hours.

This has to do with level of focus on detail, and the nature of that focus. Writing is granular in many ways, focusing on individual issues in a concentrated fashion. In art -- for me -- those kinds of details aren't regarded personally, but as little dots in the whole.

This is why writing is so fatiguing.

I have a mass of manuscript that needs fucking with rather than complete re-writing. It has been line-edited -- I mean strunked, it's been strunked, and it will be getting one last strunking. So I am going to try and process writing through the section of my brain that handles rendering when I do art. That part of me is great with details, etc, but it has much more stamina than part I use for writing.

This is probably reflective of actual neuroanatomy.

So. I will work with music on. I will allow myself to lose focus and drift mentally. I will detach from the work itself, and let reflex guide me as I use the Find and Replace function until I could plotz. I will work from a meditative rather than an active place.

I will post the results tomorrow. We'll see how much of a genius I am then.

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