Just to break away from writing for a little bit, because honestly? Real life greatly influences art. Art imitates life, if you believe that and not its counterpart life imitates art. I just bought a new car, a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo. The next Tuesday, Glendale had a storm to beat all storms, it had the works! Rain, hail, fallen trees, I still have a bruise on my leg the size of a pear from when I tried to hide under a tree from the hail and it didn't work. Like, at all. I managed to hide out in the GCC library until it was over, drove home, got to work, etc. And don't worry, I am a writer first - I took lots of notes. The next day, I looked at my car. It looked like I had driven through a driving range. I finally get an appointment with an insurance claims adjuster (or something? I wasn't really sure what was going on) who tells me that my car is effectively 'totaled'. Total loss. Brand new car (to me), cheap, low mileage, and immaculate, and my insurance says it's ruined. Bummer. Not a total loss for me, even if it might be for the insurance company and my car, because I learned a few things, and learning through life experience is priceless. Things come and go, it's a fact of life, but learning is the reason we're here, I firmly believe this. And hey, if I ever need to write a story about a poor, novelist college kid and the car that got away, I've got my notes.
Back to writing. The new book is going well, at just about 35k words out of a possible 50k, I should be done with it by the end of the month (I know I keep saying this. I can't help it). I managed to write my 10k words last week, ending last night, which is my absolute weekly goal. Perrad has finally made it inside the abandoned city of Agras, which is filled with the same shadowy black creatures that attacked and killed one of his party. I'm on chapter seven, which is going to tell us a little bit more about his mysterious benefactor Symond Daye, and why Perrad really thinks Daye wants the Eye, an artifact that supposedly buried Agras underground all those centuries ago. It didn't help that I had other homework and tests and papers due, so that my total word count for the week was over 16k.
Jane, over at http://www.aspiringauthorsblog.com/, left me a comment about not really subscribing to word counts to finish a book. I didn't really pay attention either, until I realized how much time I was wasting just pooting (stuff it, spell check) around on the internet, doing everything I could think of to procrastinate except writing. I "turned it on" (quoth my fiancé) rather abruptly just over a month ago, when I established the hard and fast rule of at least ten thousand words a week. I finished my novel three weeks later. When he asked me why I had suddenly developed a work ethic, I couldn't answer. I still really don't have one. For those first couple of weeks, I was obsessed. I thought about writing all the time, I couldn't wait to get home and pound out my two thousand words, the writing was reward in itself. That's changed a bit already, which is a sadness, because now it feels more like work, but the work is still enjoyable. I like doing it, or else I wouldn't do it. It's just so easy to get it done. It's so easy to sit down and break my work into tiny, easy chunks. Just 100 words, I think. Just 100 words, and then I just need to do it 19 more times. 2000 words is nothing. Nothing! I can do it in several hours, if I have a mind to and don't get too distracted.
Obviously I had a lot more to say today than I planned, sorry I went long. I just want to stress how important I think it is to accomplish something every day, to learn something every day. To set goals and feel how awesome it is to fly past them. I brag here because I don't brag in real life, and I appreciate everyone who reads this putting up with my constant evaluations of myself. I think a lot of writers are much less self confident than they appear, and I'm one of them. Just being able to write these things down, that I am a novelist, that I'm going to finish a second book within a month of writing my first, is an amazing kind of empowerment. I'll try to stick to a cohesive topic tomorrow, I promise.