writing life

Routines and Magic Formulas

My progress decreased quite a bit yesterday because such a big chunk of time during my prime writing hours was devoted to dealing with the air conditioner service. I don’t know if my tech was new and they were having a supervisor check on him or if he was baffled by something and called in a supervisor, but I ended up with a bonus person checking things out. Apparently, everything with the way my system is set up is a bad configuration. I pointed out that they were the ones who installed it, and they had to admit that there really isn’t a way to do it better in this house without doing major remodeling. It’s just a bad design. I’d told the first guy that I knew it needed coolant. He tried to tell me the problem was in the configuration and in the kind of filter I had. When he finally went out to check the outside unit, he found that it was almost entirely out of coolant. As I told him. Now my house is cooling better.

But this adds to the reasons why I want to get a different house. So please buy books and tell people about my books so I can afford to buy a new house.

The break in routine and resulting decrease in productivity made it clear how routine-oriented I am. I may not believe in literal magic, but I definitely function as though there are magic formulas for things. When I find something that works, I can get a bit obsessive about it, to the point I treat it like it’s magic and if I can’t do that bit of “magic,” everything goes wrong. I discovered that writing before I do anything else on the computer drastically improves my productivity, so now I feel like the whole day is ruined if I so much as glance at e-mail before I start writing. I’ve been trying to get a certain number of words written before lunch, and when I didn’t do that yesterday, I felt like it threw the day off.

I’m trying to get better about resetting and moving forward when something messes up my pattern. I’m also working on dealing with the raging perfectionism. There’s a big difference between striving for excellence, figuring out the best way to do things and trying to be perfect, clinging to routines.

I’ve made great progress this week, about 25,000 words so far and still this afternoon to go. I like a lot of what I’ve written, and I’ve come up with some great ideas. I was supposed to be getting revision notes on another book today, but I found out that’s happening after next week, so I may get to finish this draft first. I’m planning to make July a month of intense focus. It’ll be too hot to get out and do much of anything, so I might as well use the cave time to get things done.

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