Write it or lose it

My writing goal for this last weekend was to complete the cleanup on a novel so I can send it to some people who have volunteered to copy edit it. This goal was set before the really bad hay fever I’d had all week turned into a cold Friday. By the end of my work day Friday the sore throat, low grade fever, and rundown feeling required a short nap before I could even discuss dinner with my hubby.

And since he had come home early from work sick, he was in the same boat.

I napped a lot Saturday. And slept in both days. Technically We could have opted out of going to the movie Sunday, but I’m not sure I would have gotten much more writing done if we had.

So of the 21 chapters, I got through three over the weekend. And a fourth Monday night. Not all of that was because of being braindead or asleep so much of the time. The other part was that my muse really didn’t want to work on the chore of consistency checking.

So at one point two of the characters started talking very animatedly in my head. And it was a conversation that is important to the plot… But it’s the plot of book four. I was supposed to be working on book one (yes, I’m writing a series; no, I didn’t plan to). The problem is, the conversation they were having concerned a part of the story of that book that I haven’t figured out yet, so I needed to write it down. Because if I don’t, some time later when I’m actually working on that book I’ll get to a tangled part of the plot and know that my subconscious has figured out how to solve that little thing in a clever way, but I won’t remember it.

That’s what it’s like in my head a lot. Ideas come out of the mysterious darkness and say, “Write about me! Write about me! Write about me or I’ll friggin’ go away!!!”

At another point, I read a single line of dialog in which the shrine guardian says, in answer to why he’s a kitsune trapped in an otter’s body, “It’s a long story…” And suddenly, in the back of my head, he and another character popped up and told me the fable-like tale of how it happened.

And I had to go write enough of it down so I could flesh out the tale, or I’ll forget some crucial bit. (I think it’s going to be called, “The Engraver, the Pearl, and the Impossible Customer,” but don’t hold me to it.)

I wrote down the outline and a few lines of dialog, but refused to let my muse distract me further to actually finish the story. Because if I follow all these distractions, I’ll never finish the previous tales.

Because my muse has super-hyper-ultra ADHD, and a tendency to hold some ideas hostage until I pay attention to its new shiny.

But every now and then we wrestle out a tale that makes me go, “Wow. Did I write that?”

Which is worth all the hassle.

(At least, That’s what I tell myself.)

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