The Last Hundred Pages


I’ve been on spring break from school all this week. I purposely did not plan any trips for this time off, since I’m nearly finished writing the Bloody Book II. As the only part-time writer in the group, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to write for long spaces without any other obligations calling me away. And it has been, for the most part. The hard thing is focusing on the work, and nothing else.

When you work in a regular job, with a desk or an office, it’s easy to focus. For one thing, you likely have people around you expecting you to do your job. For another, it’s very routine – start at 8, lunch at 1, go home at 5. When you’re home alone writing, there’s no one in the next room to tell you to get back to work, and the clock really doesn’t matter as much. Let me show you how yesterday went around here.

7:00 I’m up. (I get up on a workday at 5:15, so this was a lovely indulgence.)
7:30 Eating breakfast. Wondering if I should go grocery shopping today, since the fridge shelves are looking a little bare? I could always stop at the store on my way back from the dentist’s office.
8:00 Wake the Beetle for his dental appointment.
9:00 Sitting in the dentist’s office, with my notebook open. Between the incredibly happy toddler in the waiting area and the constant phone ringing, I can’t seem to come up with anything.
9:10 Pull out the iPod.
9:45 The Beetle returns, with a good report. Ah, now I can go home and get some work done.
10:00 Pull into the driveway. Forgot to stop at the grocery store.
10:05 Turn on the computer and sit down to work.
11:00 Manage a whole two pages. Was that the dryer beeping? Maybe I should go fold the dry clothes.
11:10 Stand up, walk around and get over the need to fold clothes. Back to work.
11:15 The husband sends me links to good information for the New Shiny. Force myself to archive the message and not look until later.
12:00 Lunch time! I make a salad, and wonder again if I should go to the store.
12:20 Back to the desk. Husband has sent another set of links. The temptation is awful.
1:00 Realize my feet are freezing, and go searching for my sheepskin slippers.
1:10 Back to the desk, and apparently my cold feet were warping my thought processes. Kes would never say that last thing I typed. Delete, delete, delete.
2:00 Phone rings. In reaching for it, I knock the iPod, the iPod stand, a bracelet and my glasses onto the floor.
3:00 Finish one chapter, move on to the next. I don’t know what to use for the epigraph, but that can wait. No looking online for a line that fits – that way lies danger.
3:45 Suddenly remember I don’t have anything out to thaw for dinner. Consider once again a trip to the grocery store, then decide we’ll just have breakfast for dinner tonight.
5:00 Shoot, I forgot to include the scene about Flingo Naile, and now I have to work backward to weave it in.
5:45 Husband comes home. Seems content with the breakfast for dinner idea. I stop writing to go cook.
6:30 Back to the desk. It’s starting to get dark, and my eyes are feeling it.
8:30 Hit ‘Save’ one last time, and close the document. I’ve finished 15 pages today and I still haven’t prepped my Magical Words entry for tomorrow, but Lost is starting soon.
10:00 Lost is over. Head for bed to read a little before I sleep.
11:00 Turn off the light. Dang, those clothes are still in the dryer and now they’ll be wrinkly. Oh well.

It’s such a glamorous life. πŸ˜€


15 comments to The Last Hundred Pages

  • You forgot the bouquet of roses on your doorstep each morning sent by your adoring fans. *wink*

    I often wonder, if behind every succesful man is a good woman, who is behind the successful woman?

  • I didn’t forget them – there’s just nowhere else to put them inside the house. *grin*

    Behind me is a very good man who jumps off high places for me and doesn’t mind breakfast for dinner. *grin*

  • Loved your day, Misty! But I have to brag on mine too.
    I took yesterday off once I got the mscpt (Blood Cross) off to the editor. It was soooo lovely. I worked on jewelry, took a 3 hr nap, went with the hubby to church, and went to bed early. Sigh. Stretch. Yawn. Maybe I’ll take another nap today.

  • I love this, thank you for the peek into a day in your writing life! Nothing quite like a quick look at another writer’s everyday hurdles (which are so very like my own!) to encourage others to keep going…So keep going and good luck with the last hundred pages! Great post…: )

  • Heh! Some of that sounds like some of my writing days, but there’s far more net browsing than I’d like. Still wishing for that laptop without internet connection so I can move around and type without being distracted by the allure of the shiny glittery web in the corner.

    Got through 19 pages of script rewrites last night myself. It’s not my script, but it needed a full rewrite and around 40 pages added to it to make it feature length. A producer friend sent it to me asking me to fix it. I even managed to sit last night with my daughter and watch Thumbelina and then blog this morning… well, back to work. πŸ˜‰

  • Beatriz


    I would like it noted for the record, please, that I have not whined, begged, wheedled, pleaded or cajoled in any fashion for any information about the Bloody Book II OR the New Shiny.

    Even though it’s absolutely KILLING me.

    Just sayin’.

  • LOL! My day looks something like that except the interruptions are usually caused by my kids. πŸ™‚

  • mikaela

    … Yupp. Holidays are not good for writing. I have had the last week off, and before I had plans. I would work on Wolf and Widow. Uh-uh. The only writing related thing I have done is that I figured out goals for an idea that I thought was buried. Nice, but considering I have a holiday, not that productive.

  • Amy

    I work full time, too (librarians in the house. High five!), and when I get a day to myself, the last thing I want to do is write. But I at least make sure I get some words down at some point.:)

  • YIPPEE! I got the script rewrite done! Now to see if they all like it…

  • Wow, I’m glad you guys enjoyed hearing about my day! I remember a movie years ago – She Devil. Not a very good movie, granted, but one of the characters was a successful writer who lived in a mansion, relaxed in her indoor pool every day and ran around in designer clothes all the time. I often wonder how many professional writers watched that movie and laughed hysterically… πŸ˜€

    Daniel, YAY for the rewrites being done! There’s nothing like that big sigh of contentment for being finished.

    *high fives* Amy! The media specialist I used to work for always said that librarians were the original bad girls, since they were always letting people read all that subversive information the kings didn’t want shared. Hee!

    Mikaela, I used to take my laptop with me to my parents’ house for the Christmas holidays, until I realized I was carrying it back and forth and never turning it on. πŸ˜€

    Moonduster, I’m fortunate that the child in my house is now 16 and deliriously happy to be left alone with his video games.

    Beatriz, my love, your self-control is formidable. Oh hey, wait…is THAT why you brought me peppermint ice cream the other day? Sneaky, you.

  • QUOTE: There’s nothing like that big sigh of contentment for being finished.

    Yeah, and an even bigger feeling is that I pretty much wrote 18,424 words in three weeks, added around 40 pages, three extra scenes, formatted, added and repaired dialogue and fixed the plot. Comes out to be a 94 page script, formatted correctly. It was a script that was handed to me to fix. Not real big in the grand scheme of novel writing, but pretty good for the work I had to do on it. If I could just focus like I did the past couple days on a novel I’d have one done in no time. I did the last 40 pages Wednesday and Thursday.

  • Amy

    We are so the bad girls. How dare we encourage children (and teenagers) to read and think for themselves. πŸ˜‰

  • I would be afraid to chronicle my day so honestly because I’d hate to find out how little *writing* I actually do… Nice post, Misty.

  • Misty,
    That’s a fully detailed day. I try to record actual time at writing related tasks to see how I spend my time. I log them in a spreadsheet which does some nifty sorting to tell me totals for novel writing/editing, world building, short stories, and synopsis work. I recently added a pair of columns for critiquing.

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, I don’t log all the time spent on other activities, so I have no idea where it goes, but I do know how much or little time is spent on writing.