So THAT’S what it feels like to write all day!

May 10, 2010 in On Writing, Study by pacejmiller

What a killer of a day.

For the first time in a very long time, I managed to write all day, practically from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, with only a couple of short breaks in between.

It wasn’t like I had much of a choice.  Today was the deadline for this writing competition that I wanted to enter.  I only found out about it last Wednesday, and the intention was to write the short story over the weekend, but as usual, I was only half way through by Sunday night.  The story needed to be between 1,000 and 3,000 words, but my target was roughly around 1,800 so that I could re-use the story for one of my workshopping sessions in a couple of weeks (and hand it in for assessment at the end of term).

And so I got cracking, and by the time I finished with the draft story at around 1 in the afternoon, it was 2,800 words.  If the story (tentatively titled “The Smell”) was the masterpiece I had been hoping for, then that would have been fine for the purposes of the competition entry.  But it wasn’t.  There was something about it that just didn’t feel right.

So I went back to work, rewriting, altering the plot, and chopping entire chunks out.  When I finally keyed in the final word, it was down to just over 2,000 words.  Good enough.  But then I realised it was 5pm, and as I recalled, the final mail run was around 5:30.  In a mad panic, I had to reformat the story into the correct parameters for the competition, complete the entry form, print out two copies (on an inkjet!), fill out the envelope and whack on the stamps.  I made it to the post box with 6 minutes to spare.

In retrospect, it was most probably a waste of money (because there was an entry fee) to enter this competition, because even I recognise that the story wasn’t very good or well written.  But I’m glad I did it.

For starters, I finally submitted something I wrote that wasn’t compulsory, and I even made the deadline!  Secondly, I experienced what it feels like to write for a full working day.  Honestly, it felt great.  It wasn’t easy, but it was extremely rewarding.  My only complaint is that the day went by way too fast.  I only really wrote around 2,000 words today (and deleted probably 1,000!), but hey, I got the job done in the end.

Okay, now back to uni work.  I’m really starting to shit bricks over how much stuff is going to be due soon!