Woodchips and Sawdust

Before getting into anything else: yes, as previously reported (or implied!) I will be trying my damnedest to Write My A** Off this Saturday, June 12.

And wow, I’ve gotta say — it’s way overdue for me. This has been one of the longest dry spells of writing I’ve gone through in almost three years. Blog posts aside (so yes, technically I have been writing…), over the last two months or so I think I’ve written no more than a couple-three hundred words on any single day. And that’s been very scattered, un- or utterly misdirected, fitful. I’m determined to turn that around, though. This morning I did a little over 500 words, simply by forcing myself to start typing, and maybe I’ll be able to get something crankin’ by Saturday. I sure hope so. This has made me miserable — literally, beyond words.

In the meantime, a couple of minor things:

  • We got back from New Orleans fairly late Sunday night. Although I was able to at least visit my favorite blogs over the weekend, via Blackberry, I’m lamentably behind on reading for real, let alone commenting. I’ll get back into that rhythm soon too, I hope.
  • In a weekend comment on a post here, Froog reported that Running After My Hat had been loading painfully slowly for him. I’d noticed it too, frankly, although I thought it might have something to do with other network problems. Froog’s comment led me to poke around in a couple of suspiciously soft spots in the infrastructure. I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I think I’ve traced the problem to that Google Buzz thingumabob I mentioned in an aside a couple of posts ago. So I disabled that thing — I don’t care how cool or interesting a feature is, if it cripples a site’s basic functionality it’s not worth including. Do let me know if any of you are experiencing other (or the same!) problems.
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  1. Welcome home and I hope this Saturday goes exceedingly well for you John.

    I’d also like to note how wonderful and thoughtful a person you are to consider the visitors to your site ahead of your own pleasure with it. Not a lot of personal websites do that — consider what OTHERS might think of it. Nice to know you do. :)

  2. Welcome home, I hope Saturday gets you in the swing again. It seems its going to be an industrious day.

  3. I doubt I’ll live enough years to become a real writer, the kind who challenges herself the way you do, given that I made my living another way and only write now for pleasure. I am both awestruck and baffled by the practice of forced word production. There must be something to it; I see it done elsewhere. I am grateful to writers for undertaking such a challenge if it makes for better writing, since I am an addicted consumer of the good stuff.

  4. Darc: Actually, that wonderful thoughtfulness you mention is little more than yet another mark of OCD. It drives me crazy to have loose ends like response time and browser incompatibilities keeping people from feeling fully comfortable here.

    A couple years ago I was tinkering with the design here and asked anyone who might be reading if they’d noticed anything flaky. One commenter mentioned that yes, there was something: on her monitor, the little “twitter me” and “facebook” boxes always appeared lodged at the top of every page, sort of overlaying the text. She had a Mac (and used Safari, I think), which as you know I do not, but until I made that problem go away, as far as I was concerned the blog stuck out of the water like an ugly coral reef. When I finally fixed it, I wasn’t satisfied for my service to visitors; I was satisfied for my tech persistence. Not quite the same thing. :)

    fg: Thanks. So far it’s actually been a productive week here. Not productive creatively so much, alas, but I’ll settle for productive drudgework if I can’t get any other kind!

    Nance: I took a weekend writing workshop, hmm, must have been 20 years ago now. The instructor distributed stacks of graph paper to us, which he’d modified to simplify setting a target daily word count and tracking our progress toward it (or, more likely, around it, haha). It was — as we used to say (and still do, secretly, to our unreconstructed hippie selves) — a mind-blower. I kept at it for a month or so, at which point recording the production level had become superfluous. It’s still a good way to get restarted, though.

    Producing more and more of anything doesn’t necessarily make it get better, of course. Diminishing returns, all that. But I think every writer gets incrementally better with every word, in the respects (storytelling, style, etc.) that matter to him or her.


  1. […] say “qualms” there because, as I’ve also mentioned, I’ve been in a cavernous creative slump for […]

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