I am nearly done with my Shadow Clock draft, but getting to this point has required a tremendous push and a lot of night writing.
It’s often very hard for me to get started when I write at night. I usually spend an hour doing preliminaries â€“ desperately searching for blog posts (only no one blogs anymore). I go to Amazon and “Look Inside” books reading first chapters. I read things in the New York Times. “We are, at least from the standpoint of DNA, more microbial than human,” is something I just learned.
I must slowly overcome my hatred of the text.
Opening the file and seeing the words Iâ€™ve written, I experience a violent recoil. How can anything be that bad?
So I must approach the manuscript as if it is a wild pony. Sideways but with determination and an overall sense of my goal. Not straight at it, but piece by piece. Itâ€™s a war of inches and defeat lurks at every turn, because each inch contains the potential of an hour lost to procrastination. I cycle through these activities, flipping back to my open draft.
Reading various writing-related sites online.
Drinking mineral water
Eating something salty
Drinking wine (the right amount)
Deciding on the music I will listen to
Applying evocative perfume
Remembering how when I write in the morning before work I am always so annoyed that I canâ€™t continue but must stop. So how can I turn my back on hours at night!
I remind myself that even if it is bad work and bad writing I produce it is still necessary work that must get done and it brings me that much closer to my goal. Tonight, I don’t want to write, but I’m still up. As long as I’m sitting here I might as well write, right?
All I have to do is get in.
Once I am in, I will work
But the text is like bitterly cold water â€“ I turn my head away. I donâ€™t want to.