End of the Month Wrap-Up: July 2017!

I’ve developed a format for these posts: books read, words written/other writing goals accomplished, library trips, and so on.

This month that’s all out the window.

Yesterday I went running. I’ve been trying to get back into it this summer after about a year and a half away, with pretty good success.

Yesterday, just after turning around at the halfway point of my run, I wiped the fuck out.

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My knees got trashed and I have a wicked little blood blister on one of my palms, but my reflexes did their job and protected my head from hitting the ground. After getting up and testing my joints for obvious injuries, I gave myself about three minutes of walking time before I started running again (more slowly and watching the pavement better) until I got home.

I’ve never fallen on a run as an adult. (I’m sure I fell running around as a kid plenty, but not since I’ve taken up running proper.) It was bound to happen eventually, right? The point is, I got back up and kept going.

That’s what this past month has been for my writing–me getting up from my fall, and going on.

Originally I had hoped to publish What We Need to Rebuild in the spring. Two deaths in the family and the resulting depression I sunk into prevented that. But in July, I started writing again on a new project. I finished my final edit on the WWNtR manuscript and commissioned my cover (more on that soon!); I’m gearing up for the marketing push surrounding the release; and I’m becoming more active on social media again to interact with both bookish friends and my fans.

This is me, getting back up.

(It turns out I jammed my right big toe in the fall, so running home on that before it puffed up probably wasn’t the best idea–but the swelling will go down, the bruises will heal, and I will run again. Maybe not tomorrow as I normally would, but soon.)

Let Me Tell You a Story #24: Another Running Analogy

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When I started this blog last summer, I wrote about my running. A lot. More than I probably needed to.

But I’m heading out later today to go on my second run of the new year. The first was on an unseasonably warm day back at the end of February, when spring peeked its pretty head out for a day then retreated again for six weeks.

I know I’m going to get blisters. I always do when I haven’t been running for months–I don’t run in winter for two major reasons:

  1. I work on my feet at my day job and don’t want to risk a slip-and-crash on ice;
  2. I run barefoot-style, and look at those shoes! I’d get frostbite!

So it takes my body a few runs to adjust to the running routine again.

And apparently, the same thing has happened to my brain.

Remember how I said I loved that new rewriting method I tried out?

Apparently, it made my brain forget for a while how to write entirely new bits of story. Over the past week and a half, I’ve been struggling through the space left by five chapters I had to cut 90% of, to rewrite that entire plot arc from the foundations up. And in some cases, the foundations, too.

It might be the hardest slog I’ve done on this book thus far. I felt slow and stupid and sluggish.

And then, yesterday, I was presented with the cherry on top, figuring out how to transition back into the original draft, picking up (mostly) where I left off after the cuts. It wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped, and this morning, I toughed it out, writing the bridging chapter to bring my new storyline back to where it needed to be.

I was hoping I’d be done with this rewrite by now, so I could go back to the beginning of the new draft and work on the technical edit–spelling, filler words, repetition, all that fiddly stuff.

I’m not. And it’s frustrating.

Now, I need this run. Even though I know I’ll be slow and sluggish, and my body will ache like hell tomorrow. Especially because I know that.

If I can retrain my brain, then I can retrain my body, and in a few weeks when I’m back in the running habit, it will be something I look forward to instead of The Dreaded Exercise.

Struggle is good for us.

But so is taking a break from rewriting, when the words go fuzzy in my brain and I need music and the feel of concrete under my feet.

Work hard, my fellow writers, but not too hard. Go enjoy the sunshine!