Monday, January 16, 2017

Distractions





Last week I injured my left wrist.  I have no idea what I did, but it suddenly began to hurt enough to keep me awake at night.  After a couple days it cleared up, but those were difficult days for writing.  I managed to get a little over 1k a day done each day, though.  That's my minimum writing count.

The wrist mostly cleared up by the third day and things began to look better.

Then Russ took me to a wildlife refuge which knocked that day's word count back down -- oh, but it was a lovely distraction.  Eagles, geese, owl!  I have been trying to get a picture of an owl for YEARS.  You cannot imagine how much fun that was, to spot him just as we were leaving!

And then the ice storm....

Actually, we got off easy on the storm.  Just a light bit of ice and rain most of today (Monday), but it is cooling off and turning icy out there now.  I was enthralled, though, watching the storm progress up towards us and seeing the videos of various places as it hit.  I find storms and storm news fascinating. 

So all of that cut into my writing time or just drew my full attention.  From last Monday through Sunday, I wrote 10,808 words.  Not a bad total, but not even half of what I would normally get.

And you know what?  It doesn't matter.  If you start making word count numbers more important than things like storms and wildlife refuges, you are going to have very dull writing.  Seeing the wild world helps reconnect with times and places where civilization doesn't always hold sway.  Weather brings you closer to the unpredictable nature of the world.  Even inexplicable pains can bring you closer to your suffering characters.

You have to learn and experience things.  I've pursued life-long learning long before that term came into general use.  Too many see it as a pastime for retired people with nothing to do with their time.  Get over that concept, especially if you are a writer.  Learn things.  Read nonfiction books.  Take courses.  If you can spare the $20 a month, I suggest you sign up for this:


https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/home

I love these courses.  So far I've taken four history courses, four science courses (and found I have a true love for geology), one art appreciation class, and right now I'm learning about the Analects of Confucius, which is a far more fascinating book than I ever realized back when I read it years and years and years ago.

For people who don't like to read nonfiction, these are a fantastic second choice.  The classes are generally right around 30 minutes, and many of them are 24 or 32 total classes per course, so you can easily do one a night and have the entire course done in about one month.   Some of them are just as good as an audio class as a video one -- you can generally tell which ones after the first class, and you might choose just to listen to them while you do something else. There are courses in math, science, cooking, yoga, religion -- and more added so often that it is daunting to try and figure out how to watch all the ones you really want to see and still have time for things like writing.

Take time to learn something new.  Even take time away from your writing sometimes.  Embrace learning rather than thinking it's only suitable for school and retirees.  You deserve a better, richer life -- and this is an easy way to find one.


1 comment:

Deb Salisbury said...

Wonderful photos! That kind of experience is well worth delaying the word count.