So often we go down to Dymocks and pick up our new favourite books without thinking too hard or too much about everything that goes into the process. What’s involved in writing a book? Editing? Marketing? And how different is that when ADHD means your brain is constantly screaming ‘fight me’.
Well, here we are. I’m going to start keeping a writing diary. As much as I hope this will provide some interesting insights into the path towards a new book, I also hope it’s going to hold me accountable. I’m happiest when I’m in the flow, writing, and my characters are enjoying mad bants, so I’m hoping this might inspire a newer, more regular routine.
For the record, I’m starting this diary with 18k words already behind me. It’s not my final HQ book, but a book I’m hoping will remind me of the joy I always got from writing. I feel like I need to constantly be open about that because, well, reasons.
Anyway, Transformers roll out . . .
Today began early and full of hope. Four o’clock in the morning type of early. Often, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night to my brain screaming ‘TIME FOR WORK’. Sometimes, I even indulge it.
This morning, I did.
I had everything planned out. I was going to start the day gently, with some good feels online. And that’s pretty much what I got. I went through and chatted to some of my favourite people, even dipping my toes back into the lava flow that’s Twitter.
The idea after that was to ‘Switch off the internet’ (see that note there?) and get cracking into writing. My plan? Five chapter outlines, and one chapter written. Yeah, good luck with that. It’s dopamine time, friends!
As of 1pm, I’d written three chapter outlines and slept the rest of the afternoon. I’m writing this at 7pm, knowing that I’m going to record a podcast soon, but hope to get back into my planning after that.
I’m not sure how spiritual any of you are, but I pulled a card this morning from Rebecca Campbell’s Starseed Oracle. After experiencing yesterday, then rolling into today, I can say for sure that I need to do this.
Even though I don’t want to call yesterday a ‘write-off’ – I did get some work done after all – it certainly wasn’t as much as I’d hoped.
Sleep called at 1am after recording some podcasts with Terry Talks Fiction. I tried getting back into my work after we’d finished, but kind of sat staring at a half-written document until I clocked out and went to bed.
The annoying thing was, though, that sleep had called me most of yesterday. Maybe I needed it. Probably needed it, because today was different.
This morning has already seen blog writing, reading, updating social media and 2000 words on my latest WIP. Now THAT is impressive, even by my standards.
And it’s only just gone 2pm. Ideally, I’d love to write two chapters today (one of those ADHD things that dictates we must do everything yesterday, but executive disfunction means we do nothing), but if I only get to the end of one of them, I still have more words than yesterday, and that’s awesome.
Today didn’t feel so much like hump day, but stumble across the tarmac day today. Sure, I read an entire book but I didn’t get much else done.
Actually, that’s probs not true, really. Anyone who writes can tell you that you’re never not writing. Doing dishes? Thinking about your story. Mowing the lawn? Thinking about your story. Standing in your backyard waiting for the aliens to come and steal you away into space? Yeah, you get the picture.
Sometime in the last few hours, between dinner and Big Brother, my brain unravelled something that has been bothering me about one of my chapter outlines so, now, at 10pm, I’m about to sit down and rewrite my chapter outline.
Pray for me. Ha!
Well, you were a bit of a lost cause, weren’t you?
At this point, I’m not sure if exhaustion is an ADHD thing, or a Belinda is just sleeping too much thing, but I spent a lot of yesterday in bed.
Kind of disappointed. Not gonna lie.
Actually, I did read a book, but, you know. I know it counts as something, but it’s not getting a book written.
Onwards and upwards, right? Let’s see what Friday brings.
If it’s not already clear that the week has got away from me, check the spreadsheet I kept this week. What I really wanted to get out of this was … a pattern. I’m a huge pattern person, and believe that working with my natural patterns might be best for me going forward.
So, what did the week bring?
Orange = Sleeping (thanks, meds)
Pink = Fuck About and Find Out. This was neither work nor play, kind of staring into space, thinking, chilling in my library chair, or just thumbing through books (probs playing that 3D match game I’m currently obsessed with).
Green = Actual Work; words on paper.
Blue = Breakfast and Chill Out Time. I’ll always stop and have cappuccino time with my husband before/after work.
Grey = Reading; this seemed to happen at a pretty consistent time all week. This will be interesting for going forward.
Yellow: Dinner prep and cleaning. It’s nice to drop tools at about four o’clock and do the dishes and tidy up. Gives the house that real lived in feel.
What was the conclusion of my highly sophisticated, scientific study? I probs need to work more and sleep less. But, you know, if my brain feels like it’s full of bees and needs a rest, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Let’s see what next week brings, shall we?