Friday, September 2, 2011


Back in July I e-published my YA novel, Screwing Up Time. A little marketing research showed that I needed to write a sequel—indie books, particularly YA, sell better when they’re part of a series. Besides my novel had a few unanswered elements that I was planning to deal with in a sequel. Thankfully, I didn’t need to start from scratch because I’d done some writing on the sequel a while back. Although to my chagrin, half of what I’d written got scrapped or revamped.

Approaching this book, I knew that I couldn’t use my normal plodding style of writing. I needed to set myself a goal. I decided that 1000 words a day 5 days a week would work for me. (What was I thinking?!) After all, I know people, who appear sane, that write 5,000 words a day. I tell myself those writers don’t have kids, don’t work, and have full-time maid service. (For those of you who aren’t writers, one page is 250 words.) The most I’ve ever written in a single day is 2000 words. And that was when I was flying high on a creativity rush.

I’ve been doing the 5000 words a week for a couple of weeks now. The novel is moving at a brisk pace, and I’ve reached the halfway point. So everything’s good. Except my kitchen needs sanitizing (not good since I’m hosting a tea tonight—time to break out the bleach and other caustic chemicals). Every muscle in my body aches. I guess writing is a physical activity for me. (Does that mean I can cut down on my three mile runs?) And my brain is turning to word mush.

So I’m looking for brain recharge. Anyone have ideas? Two caveats. I can only watch an occasional movie as flashing lights give me migraines. Even on TV with the lights on. And I can only eat so much chocolate, or I’d have to increase my runs. And that is not an option since I hate exercise—I’d rather shove bamboo shoots up my fingernails. (Ack—my cliché meter is going off. Help me recharge.)

BTW, suggestions of a Caribbean cruise are appreciated, especially if you feel compelled to provide the cash for the trip. But since it’s hurricane season, it’ll have to wait. That makes me wonder, if I wrote 5k words a day on a cruise, could I deduct it from my taxes?


  1. Do you enjoy sewing? I always find that working on a sewing project helps recharge my creative batteries. Or playing with photography, if that's your area of interest. Or knitting, or crocheting (I'm not into either of those, really, but I know many people say it's tremendously helpful for stress relief). Or ... let's see, I think fishing season is done, but hey, spending time around any nearby body of water, with or without a fishing pole, is always incredibly soothing.

    And way to go on the 1000 words a day! I was shooting for 500 a day before we moved, but things have gotten a little crazy since then, and I've slipped off my goals. Got to get back on that!

  2. Gardening cultivates creative juices. Or how about a peanutbutter and garlic sandwich? At least it provides the isolation you need for creativity.

  3. You could walk instead of run and maybe drive to a beautiful location and then take a nice walk or just take a scenic drive. Enjoying God's creation, especially in the area we live, always helps me feel refreshed and ready to keep going.

  4. Hmmm. . . Fencing always helps, and shooting. And studying the mechanism for the Benzopinacol photochemical formation reaction by way of intersystem crossing to form a diradical helps too.

  5. HA! I love Rollie's comment about the peanut butter and garlic sandwich providing you with the "isolation" you needed.

    Instead of pushing yourself on a run, how about making it a leisurely walk for a change? Take the time to enjoy your surroundings instead of whizzing past them. Or take a drive through some beautiful countryside. Nature can rejuvenate us like nothing else I know.

    If you aren't feeling outdoorsy, maybe doing something creative that's entirely different from writing. Put on some music and dance ... or draw/paint a picture. Give the wordy part of your brain a chance to rest.

  6. When I need to give my brain cells a rest, I watch some reality tv. The catch: you may laying some of your cells to rest - - permanently. Proper dosage is KEY ;-)

  7. Watching paint dry or grass grow will easily recharge your brain. You should try it sometime!!