Saturday, November 4, 2017

How is the writing going (NaNoWriMo update)

As my regular readers know, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)--that delightful time when ambitious crazy writers attempt to hack out fifty thousand words in the space of thirty days. My regular readers also know that this is my eleventh year of doing NaNo. My regular readers may even know some of the signs that the writing is not flowing as quickly as it could.

For instance...

This is the cleanest that the stove has been in an year. cleaning the stove is a sign that the writing is not going as well as it should be going. It is also the sign that I am struggling with a plot problem.

It is normal for me to do some extra cleaning in November--cleaning that I did of my own free will.

I am basically that breed of human being that is a-okay with a dirty kitchen, moldy leftovers in the fridge, dishes stacked to the ceiling, mountains of laundry, cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, a layer of dust on everything, unvacuumed floors, and piles of books everywhere.

Please note that I am not a complete slob; I do clean the litter boxes daily...basically my level of dirt tolerance is on the same level as a cat.

So it is a red letter day whenever I do some cleaning. And often it happens when I am working hard on a project and having one of those days when the words are coming at the glacier speed of one per hour.

I first noticed the habit when I was managing restaurants. I would take "vacation days" where I was in the store, but the employees were going to deal with everything except emergencies (such as fires) because I had no desire to deal with customers. And the employees better be okay with it because otherwise the cleaning that I was doing would become their job. Cleaning such as scrubbing out the oven, cleaning the air vents, degreasing the walls and fan chutes--you know, the fun stuff that would never get cleaned under normal conditions.

When I quit restaurant work, so I would not kill anyone, the habit of "vacation days" taking the form of cleaning stuff that had been dirty forever followed. As a result, my friends can tell when I am seriously working on a project, but having a day when the words are just not coming (typically because of a plot problem).

So here is to my much cleaner house.

(On a bright note, I think I figured out this particular plot problem. Too bad, there are sure to be at least three more. Well, at least, it will make my wife happy that I did some cleaning.)

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