I’m down to about three thousand words until the end of this book — at least, of the target word count. I think the rest of the story may fit into that. I just have to write the finale. This may be the most I’ve ever written in one week. Which means that writing before I do anything else is a good strategy, as much as I hate to admit it.
The other good strategy is turning off the wi-fi on the computer and resisting the urge for most research or “I just want to check my e-mail” breaks. Sometimes, I do need to do research for the book as I write it. The main character is a librarian, so her response to everything is to do research, and sometimes I need to look up what she’s looking up because the results will affect the plot. But I’m also really bad about having a thought pop into my head and suddenly wanting to look up things related to it. I’ll think of what I want to have for dinner and start looking up recipes. This morning, the knob broke on the portable radiator I use to warm up the bathroom, and I desperately wanted to research what other heaters might be best for that purpose so that I don’t have to heat up the entire house when I take a shower. But I resisted that urge. I can look that up after I’m done writing.
This isn’t new. It’s just a lot easier with the Internet. In college, my dorm was across the street from the main campus library, and I would often dash across the street to look something up that I’d suddenly become curious about. Now I can do that without leaving my house. I think a lot of it is a stalling measure when writing starts to feel hard. It feels like a reflex — I don’t know what needs to happen next, so I’ll just go look something up. If I power through, I can move on and get past the tiny blocks. It’s just a difficult habit to break.
The next trick will be to see how the time change affects me. I’ve been waking up more or less on my own at an early hour, but if I keep waking up at that time after the change, I’ll be super early. If I go back to sleep, I’ll end up going through a whole additional sleep cycle and be super late. I may just go with early. We’ll see.
And then we’ll see if I can keep up this level of productivity.