Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Journaling on Friday
Or...The Dragon wants a writer's break

I'm so freakin' glad the weekend is right around the corner. I don't know about you other writers visiting the blog (so I invite you to post a comment to tell me) but the weekend means more time to write.

Here's a writer's life: During the week, I work at least 50 hours at the day job (when I'm in town for the job - it has me traveling), I exercise at a club each morning, I run errands either on a lunch break or in the evenings when all the senior citizens join me and clog the roads with their land yachts that they drive at speeds about 10 to 15 miles per hour below posted limits, and I try to entertain my bird so he doesn't forget that I'm in his flock. (He's a great bird.) I deal with divorce attorneys and the requests the court makes in that situation. I deal with foreclosure stress and decisions. I function as a support system for a variety of friends in a variety of horrific life situations. (Truth IS stranger than fiction.) I edit books for other people in hopes that someday that will become profitable. (Hope springs eternal.) I market Choices Meant for Gods and other peoples' work because I believe in us and our products and I know that some day all this work is going to pay off. (Hope springs eternal.) Etcetera.

Here's a writer's dilemma: So finding time to write and edit my own work doesn't happen as frequently as I'd like.

It's been like this throughout the past 16 years since college. I find snippits of time to write, but the majority of my writing blocks come on weekends. I realized this recently when I found a journal I had purchased during one of the more stressful periods in my marriage. According to the first entry of the journal, I'd been told that journaling would help ease my troubled mind and get my anger and resentment out of me and not directed toward my spouse, who was driving me crazy. Turns out, I spent a lot of time journaling about all the tasks I performed on a given day. It's very bizarre. But it showed me something.

I spent more time performing tasks and "playing Mom" to the spouse in my life than writing. What a shame! (No wonder it took three years to write Choices Meant for Gods, which I'd spent 18 years planning. With that kind of background planning, a fantasy novel should pop out of you in a month, don't you think?)

Here's a writer's question to you: Anyway, the point of this post is to see what other writers "save up" their writing bursts for the weekends because their workweeks are so crazy busy that they can't get good, solid blocks of writing time. I can sit down at the computer for an hour before bed or drag a notepad off the dresser next to my bed to scribble ideas and scenes and dialogue before falling asleep, but that's not the kind of writing I'm wanting to do. I love those day-long binges where you crank out thousands of words and suddenly realize the room is dark because the sun has gone down and your bladder is screaming because you haven't peed for eight or nine hours. THAT'S the kind of writing block I want this weekend.

And I'm looking forward to it.

What kind of writing blocks do you get to lose yourself in? And how do you set them up?

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Blogger Laura M. Crawford said...

Other than NaNoWriMo, my writing binges usually happen during the weeknights. I have the benefit of peri-menopause to keep me going when it comes to writing binges. Since I have the joys of insomnia, and I babysit for my sister 2-3 days out of the week for her very active 2-year-old, and I work nights, most of my writing binges come around in the midnight hour.

I can get going and work all night at the computer, the most I have ever written in a single session is 3,433 words. I am constantly trying to keep between 1,000 to 2,000 words a day. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't, but even if I only write one word, it's progress.

I would write on the weekends, but I don't see my QH-man, and my son, Alex, during the week, so while it's daylight out, I spend time with them. But once they go to bed and the house settles down, I make a cup of Orange/Jasmine Green Tea, go out and peek at the stars or the moon (or take out the trash so I have an excuse to go outside), and then come in, plug in the MP3 player, and write, write, write.

3:04 AM  
Blogger Sandy Lender said...

Hey, Laura!
I consider myself very fortunate that my day job consists of writing and editing. But I sure do enjoy the times when I can sit down and just type away at something speculative and NOT construction-related after hours.

I applaud your tenacity. It's good to be on a schedule where you put in a solid word-count each day.

Sandy L.
"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

12:36 PM  

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