Pictured here, the top of a mountain that I hiked up this weekend. Feels good bro.

Pictured here, the top of a mountain that I hiked up this weekend. Feels good bro.

Did I Write This Week?

After last week’s terrible failure I can inform you happily that yes, I did get some creative writing done this week. However, it was not without its own special set of setbacks.

What Happened?

Remember how I told you that my goal was to actually finish off Zombies and Loathing? Well, it turns out that somehow I’ve lost an entire completed chapter/part. Which is a huge bummer. I literally sat down, loaded up Google Drive and wrote about 50% of the next part and wanted to go back to cross-reference something I had previously written only to find that I didn’t actually have it saved anywhere.

Not on my hard drive, not on my Google drive. Nowhere.

I don’t know what the hell happened but I feel like this has taught me a valuable lesson about double and triple saving things.

There’s a bit of a silver lining though in the fact that in my search across multiple storage mediums I found some old notes I took last year about the book that I want to right. It’s only a bit of a silver lining though since I’m really, really not happy with some of the ideas I had from a year ago. What the hell was I thinking? I mean, I guess it’s good that my ideas have evolved since then to places that I’m a lot happier with, but it’s like finding an old treasure chest and finding out that it’s just full of Canadian Tire Money or something.

This weekend we headed up to the cottage for what is basically the last time this year (we’ll head up again for the day to close it down, but that’s not really a ‘get away’). The general lack of technology and distraction up at the cottage makes it a nice place to wax poetic about what’s going on. I remembered that I once went up there for about a week easily 10 years ago to get away from the city and ultimately ended up writing a slightly biographical play about the breakup I was going through. I found that notebook the other day and was delighted that despite some of the melodrama that obviously tinted the whole thing, it was *pretty good*.

It’s exciting when you write something that isn’t completely cringeworthy when you get back to it, right? In fact, it’s probably a good idea (if you’ve got the time to spare) to put something down for a few weeks or months even and review it when you’ve got a bit of a fresh mind about the whole thing.

If I had jumped right into writing when I had the initial ideas for the book, judging from my notes on the subject from last Fall, I would have hated the stuff I had written and would likely have to scrap a lot of stuff and re-work entire sections of the plot and characters. So maybe putting this whole thing off for a year was actually a blessing in disguise. You know, I was going to say “maybe putting this whole thing off was a Godsend” and then I was like “no, that’s weirdly religious” but now I realize that “blessing” is also weirdly religious. Stupid turns of phrase.

So at the end of the week, what did I really end up writing? Negative 50% of a part of Zombies and Loathing. Since I’ve got half of Part 16 written and I lost the completed Part 15.

It’s a bit of a blow, since I’ve got to re-tell what I already wrote from memory. I think there’s a good lesson though, because I’m sure there will come times where I will scrap and re-write large bits of a book. It’s really frustrating, but maybe there’s a chance to hammer it out better the second time around. Like, if I like the general ideas that I’ve got on the page but not the execution is it better to do a full re-write or just heavily edit?

What would you do? Please let me know.

I’m going away from Friday to Monday this weekend, which means that if I don’t set time aside maybe tomorrow night I will miss another week. That’s just incentive to set time aside tomorrow night, right?

Note to self: Please set time aside tomorrow night for writing.

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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