Blog No. 93
A few nights ago, Christian and I were diligently working on some writing and editing. Admittedly we did spend an hour or so chatting, discussing, and planning, as we are wont to do. It’s a regular routine that we manage a few days a week. Sometimes we manage more writing and less talking, sometimes we slip into an entire wasted evening of conversation. (Not that all our discussions are wasted. Our topics are usually writing, Adventure Worlds, and our upcoming books. Sometimes it’s just superheroes and cinema though). The evening in question, we had just finished a lively discussion about the future of our website and how we want to progress before realizing we had wasted a whole hour of talking. With so much work to do (all the time, it never ends) we refocused and got started. At the end of the evening (we usually wrap up around nine) I went to check a couple of words in an online dictionary before saving and poof!
We call our meetings/writing get-togethers, sessions – or writing sessions. Really it’s back to that accountability issue. When you are in the same room as someone else it’s tougher to slack off. We get an opportunity to decompress after a day or working or taking care of the kids (Christian’s job, not mine thankfully) and discuss some important (or exciting) topics before hunkering down and getting to that much needed writing (and editing). For a good year or so, we got together at local coffee shops. It was fairly convenient and none of us had an adequate area for house the Adventure Worlds crew at their home. Things came up for some of us and the meetings (as we called them back then) became more of a challenge to organize. Christian and I live very close, so we fell into a habit of going to the Tims between us. Then, amazingly, Christian set up a room in his house with an old Kijiji table and we started meeting there. (He even got a Keurig).
Meeting there is no problem for me, and it’s easier for him (and his wife) with their young children. I’ve learned that all I need to write is a pen, paper, flat surface, and some music (to block out distractions). A tablet and keyboard help when I get to the typing and editing stages, but for pure creative, story driven writing it’s a pretty reasonable list. Throw in a cup of coffee and a fellow writer deep in their work, and I can achieve greatness (or at least competence).
So I lost an hour’s worth of writing. It was a sunken chest, balled fists, overly obvious sigh of frustration, moment. It was the end of the session so I couldn’t do much but rail against the mechanized malevolence that deleted the evening’s progress. I searched for the text in vain, but I’m pretty sure the file error message that flashed on the screen before the words vanished was the swan song. I considered the options. Rewrite it all (knowing I’ll struggle to match what I’d written before and never achieve the same quality) or quite writing for good. I don’t think I can give up writing just yet, so I deleted the offending program (or app if you are younger than twenty) and installed a more common one. The days since then have been filled with time at work and time in the basement trying to finish building a room (with promising success), so I haven’t gotten to rewriting it yet. The story isn’t due for another month, I have time, and I think the distance will make it easier. I hope it will. In the mean time I have to review the importance of saving at every pause, break, and outer-program search. University Ben learned that lesson a couple of times (once was honestly not his fault). He would be ashamed at writer Ben. Ashamed.