Tuesday, September 10, 2013

10 day check in

It's all been going well here so far. After 10 days I have 3 rough drafts in the bag. Maybe I should just be plowing into them head-long, and I am doing that a little (my usual process has been to agonize over each sentence, unable to move to the next until it is perfect. I'm abandoning that for the month, just getting it all down on paper, sloppy and disconnected and stupid but it's out), but there's a lot of sitting with a 1,000 yard stare, doodling, taking notes. Last night I even wrote down some song lyrics. Was I writing in my 7th grade diary? Whatever. It's done.

The piece I wrote last night kind of surprised me. I'd been researching and brainstorming all day. I asked one of my best friends Carla for her thoughts. I listened to relevant music and read a bunch of stories from the website I'm going to pitch to, noting the tone, what has and has not been covered, and what approach they've taken when tackling mature topics for their teen audience (although I think a lot of adults read this particular publication because it's fucking awesome and where were they when I was a teenager?!). I'm pretty nervous about this essay because I have to admit to some really awful things I've done. I think it's an important story so I'm willing to open myself up to the possible abuse, but I'm nervous. At least it's a pretty supportive community on that webpage. I'm hopeful. Also they haven't even accepted the thing and I haven't finished writing it, so let's all just calm down, okay?! Anyway, I had pages and pages of notes, but my eyes hurt from reading and scribbling and I felt kind of burned out, having finished an essay the day before. I thought I'd go to bed early and get up and write.

But no! A few notes turned into 12 pages of writing! I finished around 4:30am, just as "The Thong Song" popped up on my headphones. Nothing heralds the completion of a difficult, deeply emotional essay like "The Thong Song." Or so I have found. That actually kept me awake for another hour at least because I listened to it like 15 times.

It was a great day to sleep in. It started raining yesterday and it hasn't stopped yet. It's not torrential, and it's not the misty, spittle-in-your-face rain we get in San Francisco. Just steady and audible. Perfect for sleeps. I'm pretending like I don't sleep until 11am every day. It's kind of amazing that after 3 years of waking up between 3:30-6:30am for work and basically training myself to be a morning person (as if getting up at 3:30am really puts me in that category. That's... I don't know. That's its own thing.), to the point that on my days off I usually get up between 8am-9am, it took all of 2 days to revert back to my natural, nocturnal habits. I am staying up into the wee hours and sleeping until late morning (okay, noon today, but I didn't fall asleep until like 5am), the way I always have. I thought I could force a change, but apparently that's just how I function. What's even stranger is I really like working from 4am-12pm. It probably has more to do with half my shift being over before the bakery even opens for business and then getting out of work when the sun is shining and I have the whole day to... nap.

So the plan today is to go back and start typing up and editing what I wrote last night. The overall plan for writing here is first drafts only, to get as much done as I can and then I can refine it when I get back to SF, but there's an actual deadline on this thing, so I need to get rolling.

I've got a few places in New Mexico I plan to visit before the end of the month. White Sands (the Trinity atomic bomb site is there, too, but it's only open to the public once a year. So lame. That would have been a really helpful field trip for an idea that's been rolling around in my brain), Carlsbad Caverns, and a few of the pueblos in the area. If anyone knows of other spots I need to check out before I leave, please leave a comment! (Even if you don't you can still totally leave a comment. Comments make me feel good).


  1. I wonder what kind of withdrawal you would feel and what type of writing it would produce to cut yourself off from the land of the internet and were to go hermit for the next 5 days... Enjoy your long nights and sleepy days!

    1. Hey! That's a great idea. I think unplugging this week would be a great experiment. Thank you, I think I will try it!
      And of course thank you for reading! :)

  2. I am enjoying reading these so very much!

    1. Thank you, Nate! It means a lot. :) Hope you're keeping up with your writing, too!