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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Year of the Novel: Vacation Blues...JK! Vacation Awesome! Writing Staycation, 2011!

So, as it turns out, not having a job is really very good for writing novels. I put my two weeks in at the bank about eight business days ago and, as is common in the banking industry, I was immediately terminated. Don't worry, y'all, me and the bank are still cool but they just didn't want me stealing trade secrets or customer info or whatnot. At any rate, since I wasn't starting the new job until after Memorial Day, I decided to pretend that I was a real professional writer and get some serious work done on the manuscript.

I found out a few things about my writing self during the eight business days of writing staycation, 2011.

1. I really really really like not having a job to go to and being able to devote my entire day to the literary and domestic arts. My plants are doing great, my laundry is folded, and I made dinner for my family everyday.

2. I can write like a son of a bitch when I actually have large blocks of time to commit to it. Exempla gratia, in eight days I wrote over 30,000 words on the novel. Given that the manuscript was at around 79,000 words before going into writing staycation, 2011, that means that a third of all the words written on the novel in the last year have been written in the last eight days*. Now think for a moment what that would mean if I had a month or a year or a decade to write. It turns out I am a prolific writer trapped in a busy man's body. Fortunately the new job will both start later and give me more time to write in the morning, and will also actually give me a full lunch hour (I know, how nice of my new employers, right?).

3. I have done a great amount of the heavy lifting for Part Two and can now coast a little bit. I've gotten through a good chunk of the stuff I really didn't have mapped out in my head yet, and several loose storylines have tightened themselves up. I even found connections that I hadn't known were there, but which suddenly just popped out of thin air, and I was all like "wow, you know what, that makes perfect sense, yo."

4. Did I mention that I really like being able to devote 100% of my time to writing and doting on my family? Oh, I did? It was bullet point #1? Oh, my b.

Anyway, this small vacay seriously helped me hone in on where this novel is going and also has given me some initiative to get this done and out there for the world to see. I see the promise land, brothers and sisters, and it looks a lot like Panera for three hours every morning, and making dinner for my family and tending a garden and oozing every fiber of my being onto the page like it's my job, because, well, it is my job. I will get there some day, I can feel it. May the Force be with me!

*For more cute little stats, here you go: 30,000 words over 8 days means I wrote on average 3,750 words per day. My weekly goal proior to quitting my job was 4,500 words. I wrote on average 4 hours per day, which means I wrote about 937.5 words per hour, or 15.625 words per minute. That doesn't seem like a lot, when you break it down to that level. That's only like two sentences per minute. Sheesh, what the hell was I doing with all the other seconds?
**Oh, I also introduced my son to the glories of Star Wars.