Feast or Famine

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but what is it about writing? Some nights I can pound out around 2,000 to 2,5000 words as if I was on a treadmill. Other nights I can just about handle 500 words — like I’m waiting for a bus and it turns out to be a small thimble on wheels.

Is it environmental, pathological, behavioral, or plain laziness?

Why the sudden word swings? You’d think that if you can get a week-long of 1,500 words, it would keep going, the way you are able to get up at 7:30 after doing it for so long. But no. Suddenly it’s like rubbing up against a porcupine just typing 500 words. And I can feel the night tightening its silence, hear the clock ticking even though its modern and not one of those old grandfather ones. And it would be so easy to close out of the Word document, put my feet up, and download a Netflix movie.

But I don’t. I squirm in my seat, drink my tea, dunk my biscuit, and plod along.

“Faulkner said that the only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself, and I agree with that. But I think you can have the human heart in conflict with itself in a fantasy, in a mystery, in a romance novel — I don’t think the genre matters.” George RR Martin


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