Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Forays In Fiction: Fitting It In



I haven't written any actual fiction scenes this week but I did start fiddling with my story files. That is often the first step. I think part of my mood issues earlier this week were coming to terms with the fact that my visit here at my Mom's must reamain open ended for the foreseeable future. I left Phoenix OR with the concept that I would be here until the end of January at which time we would reassess the situation with Mom. It became clear last weekend that it would be several more weeks before Mom could be safely left home alone. Thus my sister could not easily do without my presence.

This led me to more realizations. Among them: that it would also be weeks before I could expect to return to the loose schedule I kept at home that allowed me to devote large blocks of time to any project I chose. Which meant that the only thing I needed to make time for fiction writing was will and discipline. The will to apply myself to the task and the discipline to stay on task. Here it is impossible to find large blocks of time to use that way. So, if I am to remain committed to my fiction work without letting down my family, I must find creative ways to fit the work in. So several times this week, I had a thought about one of my stories while away from my laptop and at the earliest moment possible returned to it and made a note in the appropriate WhizFolder*:


This usually stimulated new thoughts that also needed noting. Sometime I had enough time to make several notes before something or someone else needed my attention. The main positive effect has been that my thoughts are being drawn to the stories and the desire to tend to them is being strengthened which leads to my choosing to use odd moments to do small tasks. I'm hoping that soon one of those small tasks will be an actual paragraph or two of story. I am attempting to train myself to stop this automatic thought each time an idea related to one of my stories enters my mind: I will note that [write that, research that, diagram that...] at my next work session. Where work session equals several hours. I have to de-link the idea that having time for doing this work necessarily means hours and cannot mean minutes.

I'm seriously considering wearing a fanny pack or an apron or vest with pockets so I can carry around a notebook and pencil for those times when getting back to the laptop before I loose the thought is iffy. This would be handy especially while working in the kitchen or out on the tramp.

It is interesting that this challenge has come my way at this time. Last fall I was contemplating the fact that several of the blogging writers I had been visiting frequently were managing to fit their fiction writing passion into lives that were jam packed full of duties that could not be neglected whereas I felt myself struggling to keep it together even though I had no day job, no children and no household to run. I wondered if could maintain my committment to my fiction writing if confronted with any of those or the equivalent obligations. Now I am going to find out I guess. Its put up or shut up time again.

*WhizFolders is the application I use for writing and research and info organizing. Each file has its own window and can be subdivided into indefinite number of nested topics. Topics inside files can be linked as can topics between files. Each of my novels has its own file and my two major story worlds have their own workbook files containing timelines, character faqs, and any other info common to all the stories set in it. The workbooks are interlinked with the story files. Graphics and spreadsheets are among the objects that can be embedded in a topic.

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