trying to be more productive than i’ll probably end up being

It’s Saturday morning and the secret that’s not so secret is that I’m trying to finish writing this new novel, my fourth, by Wednesday, which is my (28th) birthday; not because of any submission deadline or anything, not because I won’t be able to work on it just as hard on it just a day later, or the day after that.

What I want, really, is to be able to photograph the manuscript.

I wanna be able to boast about it on social media.

Also: this is an incentive to finally type the whole thing up real fast (most of it still exists just in notebooks), which’ll satisfy my curiosity about how long it actually is. I’m guessing about 65,000 words. Watch this space for confirmation.

Yesterday I wrote maybe about thousand words across maybe six hours and two different cafes, which is a decent amount but probably not as much as I should be writing when I’ve got the whole day to myself, and when I know where the story is going, and also I’ve got a deadline (albeit self-imposed). I normally do about fifteen hundred words a day and I was interested to see in Neil Gaiman’s most recent introduction to American Gods that, while writing that book on what seems to’ve been a roadtrip through America, he was shooting for two thousand words a day. Sometimes he hit it and sometimes he didn’t. I understand too that Stephen King, who once shot for ten pages a day, now, at the age of 72, shoots for six.

Tonight I’ve got what might be a date (it’s hard to tell when the person’s a longtime acquaintance that you’ve just never hung out with one-on-one) but, leading up to that, I’m gonna try to add at least another three thousand words to the novel (which maybe has ten or so thousand left to go, I’d like to do a little damage on some of these blog posts I’ve got lined up, and at some point I’ve gotta get a haircut and go back to my boss’s house to tend the animals.

House/pet-sitting for my boss is one of the most wonderfully tranquil experiences I’ve had in the past couple years. I think this is my fourth or fifth time. She lives in a quiet suburb about two miles from the one in which I grew up, the one in which I lived until just a year ago, and there’s tons of silent space for myself to roam and think and work, there’s a home-y bar just a couple blocks away called Hole in the Wall which is among the dive-iest of dives. A Starbucks right near that.

It’s a good arrangement.

This is a good weekend to be productive.

I’ll report back on whether I actually manage.

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