Try, Try Again?

April 16th, 2014
I read one of my favorite poems, e. e. cummings' "i carry your heart", during the ceremony

I read one of my favorite poems, e. e. cummings’ “i carry your heart”, during the ceremony

So, 3,000 words in one weekend is not that ambitious for me when I am at home, adhering to my usual routine.

Turns out, it was impossible to get even a word out during my blitzed trip to Philadelphia. I had the time, including twelve hours of plane flights and one late morning. But I couldn’t commit. On the plane, I fretted, like I usually do during long flights. I gave up and watched several movies (including “Her” which I really enjoyed, mostly because the dialogue was excellent). At the bed and breakfast estate, I snuggled into the oversized quilt, opened up my laptop, and could not find my character’s voice. I roughed out some details for the next scene, but I did not actually move the prose forward.

This is quite like my experience with past trips. I had the intention to write, but could not convert it to action. Luckily, I get to try all over again in a week when I head to D.C. for another wedding. I have some ideas on how to improve the outcome. First, I will not think of the long flights as time to write. I am already stressed enough about being on the plane; adding more pressure will likely lead to failure (especially given that I have not written anything worth keeping on an airplane in years – so why keep trying?). Second, I will actually block out times that – barring anything extraordinary – I will have time to write.

Last, I will not set a word count goal. At home, I need a word count goal to keep my progress steady. Having a time goal means my word count per day plummets. However, I find it significantly less stressful to have a time goal. Thus, while traveling I will spend an hour or two or three with my laptop and just see where that time takes me. Even if my daily word count average suffers, any amount of words would be more  than I achieved in Philly.

Here’s to another fun wedding and (hopefully) more writing success in D.C.!

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