Monday, July 14, 2014

Manifesto: Binge Writing Is Bad --or-- 100 Days to Getting a Life

Saturday was an extreme writing day.  The kind that gives writing caves a bad name.  My only act reminiscent of actual human life was making a fruit salad to go with the lox and bagels my husband brought in.  And, oh yeah, I ate this at a table. (A table with a three foot stack of magazines and books at one end, but nevertheless, a table.)

At 9:30 that night, there I was.  Wearing the same orange tee shirt I'd slept in.  Sitting in the same spot on the family room sofa where I'd dropped after breakfast.  And I passed 60,000 words.


Except that I was wearing the same tee shirt I'd slept in and was sitting on the same spot on the sofa with only my laptop (which overheats) to keep me warm.  Even my dog, who is 17 and cuddles indiscriminately with throw pillows and table legs, had abandoned me in favor of an unmade bed.

I picked my way through our kitchen -- which, courtesy of binge writing, had bacteria colonies so large you could watch them slither along the counter in the darkness -- turned on the light, and made dinner.  Which we did not eat at the table.  Husband and I were so exhausted by our days of sitting in one place working that we hunkered down in front of a BBC historical.  Our primary conversation was that our brains were so fried, we couldn't follow what the hell the characters were saying.

A successful writing day.  A completely crap day from any other perspective.

Anyway, I've had it.  Yesterday I went to a housewarming, a bookstore, and a birthday dinner wearing an actual outfit with cute shoes.  I banged out 500 words.  I cuddled my dog.

And I'm here to say, I'm out of the cave.  This is the manifesto.  I'm spending the next 100 days balancing my life.  And finishing the WIP.  And just generally having more connection with other people and the world beyond my laptop.  And moving parts of my body not involved in the physical act of writing.  And -- did I mention? -- finishing the WIP.

I'm not sure if embracing this philosophy is going to turn out to be Really Bad Writing Advice, as promised on this blog.  Who knows, I could end up abandoning the laptop in favor of admiring butterfly wings, freezing in place for hours at a time smelling the roses.  But I suspect it's going to be a good thing all around.