“When writing doesn't work, the writer is assumed to be the guilty party.”
Teresa Nielsen Hayden

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Like Lucy On The Assembly Line
Fri 2007-04-06 18:56:33 (single post)
  • 3,339 wds. long

Back to basics. Back to what the folks at AbsoluteWrite.com affectionately refer to as "my daily two hours of BIC".

BIC means "Butt In Chair." Two hours means exactly that. And daily is as simple and as scary as it sounds.

I figured I'd get back into that routine Tuesday evening on the train. Got my laptop charged up in the cafe car, and then from 7 PM until 9 PM, I sat in my coach seat and wrote. Or stared at the screen and thought, what the hell comes next? But mostly wrote.

And thought, "This is what I need to be doing every day."

I ain't gonna lie. It's a daunting thought. Daunting enough that for the rest of the week, including today, I found excuses not to BIC. Excuses like, "must sleep" and "yay! Home! Spend time with my sweetie!" and "Urrr... early..." and "Must dig up financial info for tax returns" and "Paying work first" and... and... and...

...and "What the hell am I going to do with over 3,000 words of new rough draft every day? I'll never get it all revised and publishable! Not to mention publishED."

Seriously. Those 3,339 words of "Little Beanie"? Two hours. That's all it took.

The combination of being a fast typist and a verbal thinker is its own source of writer's block. I feel a little like the leading lady in the I Love Lucy episode with all the chocolate. That conveyor belt is clicking away and producing lots and lots and lots of truffles. An Aladdin's cave full of truffles. More than I'll ever be able to package. Or eat. Ever.

Kinda scary. But no excuse for not producing all those metaphorical truffles. Especially not when I'm supposedly trying to pursue a successful career as a metaphorical chocolatier. And in the end, who doesn't like truffles, right?

(Well, I could take or leave 'em. I prefer salt-water taffy. Or those flaky little vienna wafer rolls. But still.)

Sometimes it sounds like I'm making myself a lot of work. You ever read The Neverending Story? Remember Bastian's debt to Fantastica? Every story you start, you have to finish. And if you spend two hours every day writing new material, how many stories is that?

Sometimes, though, I remember it also means I'm adding to the riches in Aladdin's cave. Two hours every day creating new material? Define prolific. Sometimes I feel rich.

So. Tomorrow morning. (Yes, on a Saturday. "Being a writer means you don't get weekends and holidays.") Tomorrow morning, 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM. Finish "Beanie"? Finish "Trilobyte"? Start something entirely different? Dunno. Whatever comes of it, my butt will be in that chair for two hours.

"Daily" has got to start somewhere.

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