Draft Zero, OIBM


DITL September 6th

I just spent the last two weeks completely useless and out of it. It started with a flu, only to quickly devolve into walking pneumonia. It’s hard to be productive with a fever, so I acquiesced to the sofa and too much Netflix.

A brief round of antibiotics was enough to clear it up. All hail antibiotics. Being able to just take a pill and actually feel better the next day really underscored how screwed we all are if/when every major bacterial disease becomes resistant. If I were a writer of futuristic dystopians…

But I’m not. At least, not right now. Right now I’m just trying to finish the draft zero of a little YA story about magical girls and the end of the world. Right now I’m trying to reconcile the fact that two weeks sick and not writing means I won’t meet my self-imposed deadline of finishing this by October 1st. Right now I’m trying to shuffle my expectations and accept the fact that those two weeks are gone, gone, gone, snatched away by illness, and that’s okay.

So. September. Not so much. But October? Yes. We can do this.

My little YA story is at 26,000 words. I expect draft zero will be done around 75,000 words. That’s just shy of 50,000 words in a month. Oh yes, I can do this.

Good bye pneumonia. Hello October.


Lighting Up the Office

I have an office that, I’m sure like many offices, has slowly been filled up with clutter over the years. It has become acceptable to shove things in there when we are busy or tired or simply don’t know where to put the thing. This made me reticent to actually use my office as an office. Sure, my tower computer and standing desk are in there and I still use those to edit my photos, but to spend actual time in my office, doing actual work was unheard-of.

Yet, the rest of the apartment has proved inadequate. Distractions (aka cats) abound. I use those spaces for other things, like goofing around and interneting, and the shadow of those activities linger when I try to sit and be serious. As multitudes of other authors and basic productivity gurus advise, it really is best to have a separate, dedicated space to work in.

Back to the office. For over a decade I would rearrange furniture on/around my birthday (don’t ask [see: virgo]). It seemed appropriate to use this latent ritual to fix what I didn’t like about my office. I’d been putting off actually doing anything because we’re moving anyway in two months, maybe four, maybe six, but then I realized that this was capital ‘s’ Stupid. I owed it to myself to create a space at home, and I owed it to my bank account – coffee shops frown on those who just come in and take up space without purchasing a consumable.

So I cranked up the a/c, rolled up my metaphorical sleeves, and yanked out every piece of furniture without a monitor on it. I brought my old sitting desk back in from another room, moved the bikes, removed any and all clutter, and then – last but perhaps the most important – strung up happy lights.

Now I have my own space and after a few days of using it, I understand. It’s honestly a difference of night and day.

Perhaps now I can start making a dent in our overstuffed tea cabinet instead of contributing to the coffers of the nearest coffee shop.