So I think I’ve figured out what my life is going to be like for the next ten months. Various things seem to keep repeating. Basically I finish my story late Wednesday night or I get up early for one last read through Thursday morning, then I set it to post at one, go to work, come home Thursday night, sit on my couch at around seven that evening and then wake up ten hours later unsure of where I am. I spend the Friday and most of the weekend after my deadline acting like a profoundly obtuse moron. It’s complete denial. I kind of stare at my keyboard and computer when I pass them by, casually nod at them, maybe occasionally pick up my keyboard and examine it, “So you say I use this device to write stories? Fascinating, truly fascinating.” For some reason I’m imagining myself saying this in a British accent…I don’t know…I think maybe John Cleese could do a good job capturing this mindset. Then around Sunday it finally sinks in that, yes, I do have to come up with a new story. My Sunday self blames my weekend self for this problem. My weekend self claims it was waiting for inspiration.
The beginning of the next week is spent in something close to deep depression. No thoughts are coming. No ideas are flowing. No stories are occurring. Nothing is happening. I sleep a lot. Every chance I get, basically. The project is crashing and there is no way a story is going to arrive in time. Then, around Tuesday, a flash of an idea comes and I instantly throw it in the trashcan of my mind and cheerily tell myself that I certainly can do better than that. Then comes Wednesday with nothing better. Then comes Thursday. Nothing. And by Thursday afternoon I’m digging around in my mental trashcan hoping like hell that no mental coffee grinds or mental melted cheese have gotten all over that crappy idea I had two days ago and that I can still maybe use it. Thursday night is spent writing anything and everything I can about, or even close to, this awful idea. Slowly something gets eked out. Very slowly it starts to take shape. Then around Friday night I’ve got something I can at least start writing. I may not have an ending or a clear path, but it’s enough to start a story with. The weekend is spent drinking Mountain Dew, and listening to music very loudly on my headphones and banging my head on my desk. Then, finally, sometime around Monday, enough comes together so that I know what I have to do to finish my story. Then sleep goes out the window. Monday through Thursday are a blur of work and writing as I try to get it all down on the page and then, since “getting it all down” tends to mean rattling off any words I can at any point I can, then I have to read it through over and over and over and over to make sure it forms a coherent whole. Then I finish up late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, set the story to post at one, come home Thursday night, sit down on my couch and then suddenly wake up twelve hours later.