Sunday, December 19, 2010

Production of quota

c. 1000 words, for a total of 16,209 words.

I am having two problems with this book, or rather two different aspects of a single problem strike me as I proceed through these early stages of writing: first of all, it is easier for me to write scenes in which people describe or imagine the games they are creating as opposed to scenes in which the games are actually played, leading to a fairly 'talky' effect; second, I am still a little vague as to what other elements will be included aside from game-playing, so that I really more generally need to find more ways of getting the characters out of living rooms and conversations and actually doing things!

(I think that tomorrow the main 'viewpoint' character will go to a yoga class...)

However I also believe it will be wise to continue with the straightforward production-of-quota method rather than stopping to reevaluate; it is much easier to revise an existing draft than to pull things out of the ether, and I need to get as much of this book down on paper as possible before school starts after the MLK holiday in January.

I was happy to find out that the essay on Restoration theater and the novel is not in fact due till the end of February, which makes me hopeful that I might be able to continue on a more-or-less daily quota basis all the way through until the middle of February or the existence of a full draft, whichever comes sooner.

(It will be more difficult once I'm teaching again, but not, I think, impossible. It is true, though, that one needs to be sensible about how many different quota-type obligations one can appropriately assume; certain exercise goals, for instance, have a bit of the same flavor.)

So: quota-writing through to the point of having as complete a draft of BOMH as possible, and in the meantime, once I'm back in New York, I will embark on the necessary syllabus-tweaking and on the reading and research for the theater-and-the-novel essay; mid-February drafting of that essay, to send out before the end of the month; then a revision of the little book on style, which shouldn't take too long but will need my full attention for a couple successive marathon writing and editing weekends.

I have a lovely vacation scheduled to take place over spring break in mid-March (a tour of various wildlife sites in Costa Rica), so if I can get all these things done by then it would really and truly feel like a justified reward; and then when I get back from Costa Rica, it's buckling down for the end of the semester and also the start of a thirteen-week Ironman training plan.

I am registered for a new race for 2011 to replace the one I had to cancel this year; I have been very doubtful as to whether it would be something I could realistically execute, but now I am feeling more myself and it seems possible, indeed something worth striving for. It is Ironman Coeur d'Alene, and it takes place on June 26, 2011.

This has been a hard year for me, partly simply because of getting so much less done than I had imagined/hoped; but it might be that it will be the end of next summer and I will have both the style book and the Bacchae novel finished and accepted for publication, and an Ironman race under my belt: I am at any rate keeping this in mind as a clear goal to shoot for. It is foolish to judge oneself on the basis of accomplishments, very often they are by no means a productive measure for self-evaluation, but it is still a difficult mindset for someone like me to get out of...

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