Thursday, May 10, 2012

Definition of Insanity

Albert Einstein is pretty much considered one of the smartest men who has ever lived.  His was a once in a generation intellect that introduced some of the greatest scientific hypothesis of his day, and ours.

But.. equal to his intelligence was his wit. Some of the best quotes are credited to Einstein... from "Imagination is more important than knowledge", to "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

But I think my favorite quote attributed to Albert Einstein (albeit unconfirmed) is his take on repetition. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  

So.. why the focus on Einstein you ask?  (Or maybe you didn't ask, but I'm gonna tell you anyway)

Well... I've been in a little bit of a rut lately with my writing. You can see that from my posts of just over a week ago that I've been struggling with my writing. I'm in the process of still completing my first actual novel.. and it's daunting.

I think most of the problem is just the mental aspect.. keeping my focus, believing that I can actually complete it.. I've got it outlined pretty well, even have a cork-board (scrivener) of outlined Chapters.. so all that's left to do is actually write the thing, but every time I start I just lose it after a few days.  I start second guessing what I write.. I go back and think, "I'll just fix this one part".. and end up deleting pretty much all of my progress in one swipe.

I know the first draft isn't supposed to be edited.. hell I've got the catch phrases up all over my office.. yet I still struggle to not edit what I write the next day.  I don't even think it's a matter of real editing.. it's just a lack of confidence over what I write and in my ability to one day achieve this dream of publication.

My usual practice is to get up around 7:30 am, get through the day, and then try to write around 8pm until around 11pm or so.  But lately it's get on my computer around 8-9, surf for a couple of hours, finish some work, and then go to bed around midnight -1am.

... SO.. with that huge info dump as a background, (pretty weak job of 'show don't tell' if you ask me), I decided to actually undertake to change what I do over and over, in hopes of achieving a different result.

So, after seeing that super-writer Morgan Shamy wrote her first book by getting up at 3am almost every morning to have quiet time away from young kids, and that she recommended it because of the magic of the early hours... I've been getting up at 4:30am to write. I work out for 20-30 minutes first, then I sit at my computer and actually write for the next 2 - 2 ½ hours.. and so far, it seems to be working.

Now.. for anyone who knows me.. getting up at 4:30 is just about unheard of.  I'm a night owl all the way down to my DNA.  It's not difficult for me to stay up until 3-4am. In fact I do it all the time. So, for me to suddenly switch things up.. it's been difficult.  I literally fell asleep at my computer this afternoon around 2:30 or so for around 15 minutes.  Just sitting here, hands on keyboard even.  

But.. I'm tired of pretending to be a writer.  That old quote of 'more than 80% of people say they want to write a book, but less than 1% actually do' wounds me every time I hear it.  I don't want to be in the 79% who say but never do.. and I'm willing to lose some sleep to prove it to myself.



4 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh... Kevin, I'm soooooo proud of you! It does take this kind of sacrifice and your efforts will show. You're doing it. There were so many days I had to *force* myself to sit down & write in those early hours, but my passion exceeded the weariness and I wouldn't take it back. Even though I'm not on that kind of schedule now, those months gave me something... Instilled a discipline and strength that was essential for me to learn. I think YOU'RE an inspiration, Kevin. Now you've got me all motivated! Thank you for this! I'm excited to see your results. You have the talent, now it's just taking that dive and DOING IT. And your efforts are going to create magic. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's awesome and so inspiring! And, if you think about it, 4:30 is kind of the wee hours so maybe your night owlishness is kicking in. I wish you all the best with your novel!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there, visiting from the IWSG. Changing up your routine from night-owl to early-bird may be just the energizer ya need. Writing a novel seems like such a fun thing to do, congrats for going for it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've tried many times to switch to early-bird productivity, but I've failed every time. I guess that's because I do my best writing BEFORE going to bed... you know, at 4am.

    Good luck! If getting that writing done first thing in the morning is working for you, you should definitely stick with it. :)

    And, by the way, my favorite Einstein quote is "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

    ReplyDelete

Guess what time of year it is.... FIRST DRAFT TIME!!!