Monday, November 17, 2008

Grist:This Dude is Awesome

I love this guy and I want his life. I'm getting there. Time.



A Quantum of Free Time

Over a week without a post? Lame, I know. But I've been hit with a couple of deadlines at the same time, and most days, the thought of slapping a few extra words into this little white rectangle seemed about as appealing as crawling across a few extra inches of broken glass. I mean, it's no big deal, I'm already bleeding... but there's no pressing need, either.

Ever since I became a full-time freelance comic book writer/novelist/whatever, I've tried to hit a daily goal, and it is this: five comic script pages and at least one thousand words of a novel/fiction. The daily emails, proofreading, corrections, edits, Q&As... that's all extra. At the core of my writing day are those five script pages, and those thousand words (which is about four pages of double-spaced typed text).

I figured if I could keep that up, I'd be on fire. Five script pages x four days = twenty pages, which is just two pages shy of a full comic script. And one thousand words a day x 30 days x 2 months = first draft of a decent-sized short novel (60,000 words).

So do I hit my daily goal? Well...

I've found that my fancy "daily goal" plan doesn't factor in what I call the "recharging my batteries" factor. When on deadline, I can write like a demon for a few days, back to back. I might crank out as many as 10 script pages, or 2 or 3,000 words of fiction. But if I try to push it that extra day, my brain refuses to give me anything useable.

And that's the problem: I'm still a creature of deadlines. I do work ahead, and I do manage to hit my daily more often than not. But my brain really doesn't kick into high gear until the clock is ticking. Which works... until I experience something like the last two weeks, when there were several clocks ticking all at once -- each slightly out of phase with each other -- and the noise made me want to leap from a church bell tower. Scripts aren't due a week at a time; sometimes, I need to produce two in a given week. When this happens, there is no time for recharging batteries. There is no try; there is only do.

All I can say is: thank God I love the doing.

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