Posted by: oneyearbook | March 16, 2009

Live blogging the first day

4:45 p.m. I think I will probably end up doing more writing stuff later today, but it’s the end of the official ‘work day’ so I will call an end to the live blog.

4:00 p.m. Now is the time in the day when we exercise! It’s not very nice out, so I am doing yoga.

3:30 p.m. Hmm, it appears to be 3:30. That was sudden. Got through about half of the old writing, rewriting a bunch of it. Rewriting is one of my favorite things to do, which is why it becomes such a problem when I want to go back and rework things right away. I’ve also organized a filing system for keeping track of the work I’ve done, organizing the scenes by what era they take place in. The new scenes bring the word count total to 3,825, which I think is a good start. It’s nice to have a good first day, even if some of it was reworking.

1:30 p.m. Back to work. As previously discussed, there are bits and bites of writing on this project that have collected up since it began as a short story, and since I started outlining it as a novel, that need to be worked through.

12:00 p.m. Lunch, and a visit to the local library. I’m struggling with what type of books I want to read while I’m writing; I think I’m prone to absorbing and then mimicking style, so modern fiction may be problematic. I end up taking out two non-fiction books, one on writing. At lunch I feel like time so far today has had a pleasant, languorous quality, as if it is stretching out to make room for the things I need to do, but not stretching so far that I feel the day will never end.

My tea set

My tea set

11:00 a.m. Take tea. I think drinking tea is a very writerly habit, don’t you?

10:30 a.m. Take the other section of writing that I had done prior to today, about 300 words, and add on to it, bringing that scene up to 1,000 words. That means I’ve done 1,500 words today, passed my goal, and can relax. Anything else that gets done in the way of actual writing is gravy on the cake. (Wait, that’s not it.) Actually, while I will probably work further on this scene, I have some other work in mind that involves going over the outline and other brainstorming work I did in the lead up to today.

9:30 a.m. Finished with first scene of the day. 1,400 words filed away for the day, although about 600 of those were from a bit of work I had already done a couple months ago, so I’ve actually done about 800 words. This is good: I’mย  not incorrect in believing that I can successfully write 1,000 words a day. However I’m already struggling with what I had hoped to implement as a rule: no looking back at things I’ve written for at least a week. This is a major problem of mine, the desire to compulsively edit what I’ve already done instead of moving on to the next scene and the next. Not only does it mean that I’m tied up and not moving forward, it means that when I do move forward, I compare what I’ve already done (which by now has been heavily edited) to the stream-of-consciousness first draft stuff I’m working on, and then I get stuck because I don’t think the new stuff is up to the quality of the old. But it is very tempting to go back and edit, partially because I accidentally switched from present tense to past part way through the scene.

8:30 a.m. Sit down in cozy chair with ottoman and drag laptop up onto lap. Although I do have the ‘office’ area with the main computer, I suspect that a large percentage of my writing will be done in this chair; it’s simply more comfortable. (There has now been a request to show a picture of this chair. I will do so tomorrow.)

8:20 a.m. Brush teeth, etc: I am aiming for a daily 8:30 a.m. start (perhaps out of habit, as that was when work started at the newspaper) but have the advantage of not needing to commute.

8:15 a.m. Run through my usual stopping points on the Internet.

8:00 a.m. Breakfast: fruit smoothie and a kiwi. There is very little food in the house right now.

7:45 a.m. Get out of bed. I slept kind of fitfully, nervously I guess, and I suppose that was to be expected.



  1. Congratulations on your new mission – very brave – very focused – what a fabulous way to spend a year. I look forward to reading of your progress (and seeing a photo of your cozy throne of inspiration). I envision it being chocolate brown.

  2. This was a seriously productive day. I’m quite impressed. Especially packing in exercise, tea, and a trip to the library.

    Basically, you’ve described my perfect imaginary self-employed workday. Too bad I’m not self-employed ๐Ÿ™‚

    This reminds me of the clean-slate, fresh-notebook, pencils-sharpened first day of school. I’ll be pretty interested to see what a workday live blog looks like in a few months time…

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