October 10th, 2006


(no subject)

Ted, last night, while he was standing in the living room waiting for the cab to pick him up and bring him to work, read the top page of one of the copies of the QUEEN'S BASTARD manuscript that's lying around. (I think there are two copies currently floating around the house.) He came into the kitchen and said, in amazement, "It's all... *descriptive*. It's *gooey*."

I said, "*Gooey*?" and he considered that perhaps that was not the best word for him to have chosen. It was too late by then, of course, and I was muttering and mumbling and being vaguely offended (not really) while he said, "It's just not like anything else you've written! I was reading it and thinking, "My wife wrote that?"" Which is the whole *point*, and I'm pleased, but *gooey*?

(Really, he's right; compared to my usual style--which I think of as being efficient--it's gooey. And that is, in fact, the point: I'm genuinely trying to stretch them ol' wings in writing this, and approaching it from a completely different pace and storytelling style, and it's HARD, and I'm actually enjoying it a *lot*, although as I was doing dishes this morning and thinking about gooeyness, I did have this horrible moment where I thought, "And somebody's going to review it with something like, Murphy has left behind her usual urban fantasy pastiche with this novel. Unfortunately, she shouldn't have...," but then I remembered I don't read reviews anyway, so it's, er, okay. Or something.)

Why, yes, I am procrastinating, why do you ask?

Oh, and my nanowrimo login is ce_murphy. :)

Oh, mark twain: I realized that the reason nothing before 125K is an exciting number (well, 120 is pretty good) is because I always hate the 00-19 wordcounts: even if there's a 1 in front of that 00, what I see is the big depressing 00 or 07 or 13 or whatever and that means I HAVEN'T EVEN REACHED 20K ON THIS STINKING BOOK YET AND THERE ARE MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP, so bleh. I have to get through those before the numbers get satisfying again. (I feel the same way about my accumulative YTD wordcount. 300K is pretty awesome! 310K sucks. :))

Going to work now. Really.

from neil's website...

From Neil, 17 important things if you want to be a freelancer. #8 particularly struck home:

Motivation. I often hear the comment, "I could NEVER be self-employed! You must be so disciplined!" I don't think that I'm any more disciplined than the next person, and my answer is usually something along the lines of, "There's nothing more motivating than bills to pay." I think that there is a misconception that artists have to wait until there is a 'muse' who will inspire them towards creativity and industry. Nah. You work until 'it' comes, and THEN you ride the wave.

People comment on my discipline all the time. *All* the time. (It's all anybody ever says to me! Really!) I really, truly, honestly don't think I'm particularly disciplined.

I also know I really, truly honestly haven't wanted to work today, and so after dragging 500 grim words out this morning, I said okay, fuck this, I'm going to take the dog on a *good* walk (as opposed to our usual one) and then I'm going to come back and write to my bare-minimum quota, because I have to get at least that number of words done every god damned day for the next couple weeks.

And I did.

This is my *job*. It's not, when you get right down to it, a necessarily more exciting job than web design or working in a comic shop or being a chef. Frankly, it's probably less exciting, because if you do those things at least you go out and interact with other people, whereas most of my interaction takes place with people who live in my head. The major difference in *discipline* is that I don't have a boss wanting to know when the project is going to be turned in, or breathing down my neck because it's late. My job pretty much involves agreeing with a client--the publisher--on when the project will be turned in, and then getting it turned in. I guess to me it's not any more about discipline than it is in *any* job: you're getting paid, so you do the work. Motivation? Same thing.

The part where I'll agree that discipline *does* come in is where you're practicing. URBAN SHAMAN was (including TRAPPER'S DAUGHTER, which I wrote with shadowhwk) my fifth novel, and I'd written seven before URBAN SHAMAN got bought. It takes a certain amount of discipline or motivation to keep writing books until you're good/lucky enough to get published, and that, okay, I'll grant you. It's a second job and you're doing it for free and there's not actually any guarantee there's going to be a financial payoff at any point, but y'know, if you want it, you gotta do it. T'ain't magic. T'ain't exciting. It's just work.

And now, whether I want to or not--and I don't--I'm going to go write another thousand words. It's not because the Muse is moving me, 'cause she isn't. It's just because this is my job.