Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Tuesday, 31 August 2004

I've started several journal entries of late, but haven't actually finished them. This is sort of compendium of bits written at various times that I wanted to get posted before heading off to WorldCon. I don't know if I'll have net access there or not.

Most of the rest of this entry was written last week, so adjust references to "this week" accordingly.

I've been a bit stressed lately. The travel is one big thing--Kalamazoo last week, Boston next week, UPF in Frankfurt in October. I handle travel pretty well, but like a longer break between trips. The day job is another source of stress, although things are going well enough.

I find writing (like other sorts of art) to be a de-stressing activity, so the fact that I'm not writing enough is doubly stressful. Exactly the same can be said of exercise.

I really ought to take a glass-half-full perspective on things, though. I'm not writing enough, but I'm still writing. I'm not exercising enough, but I ran 14 miles last week and 6 miles so far this week (with a good shot at 12, if I can fit in a 6-mile run over the weekend). The day job, as I said, is going well enough. I enjoyed Kalamazoo a lot and I'm sure I'll enjoy Boston. (The Frankfurt trip is not a pleasure trip, but it'll be okay.)

Actually, a lot of the lack of exercise can be blamed on the weather, which has been rainy for days. There hasn't been constant rain, so I've been able to fit my runs in, but there's been a big enough threat of rain that I haven't bicycled to work all week. Put the weather down as another source of stress in my life.

First writing in days. The usual Thursday-evening session at the Fitness Center, after lifting and while Jackie took her class. I'm still working on the novel, but I'm back working on the beginning again. My original beginning was dull. This new version starts introducing sources of tension right from the first paragraph. I like it better.

We're just home for a week and a half in between our trip to Kalamazoo and WorldCon, so it's busy, both at home and at work. I wouldn't have wanted to miss either trip, though.

I read Ian McCleod's The Light Ages, which was good, but not exactly my sort of thing. I've just started China Mieville's Iron Council, which I expect to enjoy a lot.

I put a huge amount of time and effort into learning the structure of short stories, but had never really done the same for novels until now. It's been good to read novels with an eye to novel structure. I don't really have any conclusions yet, but I'm definitely learning stuff, as well as reading some great fiction.


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