Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ruts and Writing - A Discussion of Routine and References

The holidays are finally over, but routine is escaping me. I know that to be successful with my writing, my art and my business, I need to have a fairly strict routine. I need to write every morning, I need to work a regular schedule, and I need a predictable life. Predictable schedules may sound boring to my readers, but I thrive on them. Right now, it's as if I'm living in the end of 2013 without having moved on to 2014, yet the calendar is rather emphatic - time has moved on but I'm still bouncing over the ruts in the road.

Ruts in the road can stall anyone. To get around
them requires careful skill behind the wheel. 

I know this is temporary, but it's really bothering me that I've only written less than 1000 words in my novel over the past two weeks. There are very good reasons for it, but it's bothering me because my characters got left at a very bad part in their plot and they are screaming at me to get moving onward to a more exciting town and year in their lives.

My poor characters are stuck in one of the most boring
parts of their plot, and I haven't had the time to finish
that segment and get them moving once again. 

I was finally at work yesterday, after two days off, and we were happily busy all day with in-store and mail orders getting pulled, processed, and packed. One of my school district teachers placed a large order just after Christmas and it's looking like we finally were able to get a final decision on some items so that I could run a final invoice through to submit to her purchasing department. I should be getting the final go-ahead on this on Monday and it should be in the mail on Tuesday.

Wouldn't we all love a job like this?

I need to stop reading so much Janet Evanovich and get back to reading my "how to publicize your novel" and "self-editing for writers" books. They may not be as much fun as reading about the crazy life of Stephanie Plum, but the more serious books actually do teach me quite a lot. The problem is, I love reading the novels, but the do-it-yourself and how-to-improve books are a much slower and less enthralling read. If anyone could actually write a book on a serious topic that was as enthralling as good fiction, they would be set for life.

There are twenty books in the main Stephanie Plum series now, and
I have most of them on audio. I decided to buy a lot of them when
there was an e-book sale and I've been reading my way through them
again. So funny!

So I'm looking at my messy desk (yes, the clean desk I had a few months ago is once again ridiculously messy) and the books that surround me on all sides. Above me I have Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style" next to my two copies of Beatrice Potter's "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" - one in English, the other in Egyptian hieroglyphs. To my immediate right are my copies of Tolkien's "The Silmarillion" and "The History of Middle Earth Index", along with six reference books dealing with places that my original characters pass through in my novel. The maps detailing their journey are on walls in the next room with the master within reach of me here at my desk.

I love my hieroglyphic edition of Beatrix Potter. My
BFF Sharon bought this for me for Christmas several
years ago and I treasure it. 

To my right on the floor are more reference materials along with catalogs from museum exhibitions. Behind me are technique books for metal and jewelry techniques. Looking around me I suddenly realize why my Nook and my e-reading apps on my phone are among my best gifts ever. I have almost 500 books on my Nook alone, not counting fanfic, and it has saved a lot of trees as well as allowing me to not have more books taking up my space. I love books, but over time I've realized that not all books need to be physical and that there is a definite place for e-books. Now to continue writing my own contribution to the library of cyberspace...

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