I’ve just finished writing the scene where Munnerly approaches Damen about his silence and my mind’s ear is sounding very English right now.
Anyhoo, I just love the fact that I got something written this morning. It required what it always required: shutting off the damn TV. As soon as I turned on music, the writing (and the desire to write) just flowed as naturally as any other day.
I’ve long since known the correlation between what I have playing in the background and my ability to write. I’m not entirely sure when I first identified it, but I’ll gather it’s been a minimum of six years if not a full decade. One of these days, I’ve got to just stop messing around and only play music. When I turn on a TV playlist, it’s meant to distract me when I do other things: cleaning the house, playing the sims, coding, designing, video editing, etc. Writing, however, is a very specific task and whatever brain functions require me to “listen” to the TV and form the image in my mind’s eye cannot multitask. It’s either the TV is on and I’m doing other things or the music is on and I’m writing. TV and writing are my oil and water.
Outside of breaking my unproductive writing fast, today is the eleven year anniversary of when I finished my first novel, A Ten Minute Speech. I was fifteen, practically bed-ridden from my second ankle surgery and determined to finish the novel before the start of the new millennium. I remember how proud I was to just complete the thing. I haven’t really done much with it in about six or seven years, but I still cherish the thought of it and still have the original handwritten copy of that first draft. I can’t remember the time (since I always include a timestamp when I finish), but I can remember the feeling of accomplishment that ran through me. Why I couldn’t, at that time, realize that I should have started aspiring to make writing my goal in life, I don’t know, but I just loved the fact that it was finished; that I had finished a novel at age 15.
Every once in a while, I’ll pull out the old pages and sift through my old writing. When I had started Evan, I was just 11 and still dotted my I’s with circles and I had gone through three or four revisions in hot pink and bright teal pen; I was so young then.
I have no lofty aspiration to complete the novel before the new year any longer since that would require somewhere close to 5K words a day and I just squeaked through 686 today, but I think back on days like today eleven years ago and know that I can do this…when I’m ready.