Monday, August 13, 2012
Defying the Laws of Physics
An object at rest tends to stay at rest.
My physics teacher explained inertia to me senior year of high school which was *cough* a few years ago, and, being a geek, of course I recalled way too much of both the theory and the formulas which help explain it (I thought about making the picture one of the μ, the letter that represents the coefficient of friction, but I thought that might be overboard.)
Inertia, though--it's as much a law of mental states as it is a law of physical states. I find it hitting me a lot. For instance, I actually landed three days off from the bookstore this weekend. I was also on Season six of LOST on Netflix. I decided that I would, for once, not beat myself up for not getting anything accomplished and enjoy watching LOST.
So Saturday, I watched LOST. I did very little else, aside from prepare food. And when I needed to do the dishes (of which there were approximately ten from my three meals), it just seemed like SUCH A CHORE. Same thing with clearing my desk of the general debris that had accumulated while I spent time surfing the web. I finally got my first wind at about 11:30 at night, and within 20 minutes had washed all the dishes, cleaned the kitchen counter, and straightened the desk.
This morning I just vowed to do more stuff straight from the beginning. Still watched six episodes of LOST (and finished it--more on that later, because boy is that show an exercise in the problems of a runaway plot). By 11 AM I'd read blogs, critiqued queries, and during the afternoon I finished 2/3 of a quilt and edited a chapter, and critiqued some more. Also put away my laundry and cleaned the kitchen.
I was an object in motion.
The same thing happens with my writing, whether it's a WIP, my revisions, or as you may have noticed, my blog. The moment I stay away from something too long, the idea of going back to it seems like it will be a Sisyphean task. Everything inside me just resists and resists and resists.
In June, I took part it Camp NaNoWriMo, mostly to get my rear in gear. And even though I had been, up to that point, a complete lug with regard to my writing, I got moving on that 1,667 words per day, and lo and behold, each day it was easier to sit back down and get back to work, and has been every day since, even though I'm no longer shooting for such a high word count. An object in motion.
Since then, things have been better, though I still have my days when I don't sit down and BICHOK (butt in chair hands on keyboard) the way I'd like to. And I certainly have my days (months? Eeee!) of being an object at rest with my blogging. But thinking about it as merely staying in motion, not doing a huge task all at once helps with a bit of the mental energy in keeping this all going.
With that in mind, here are two things going on right now that will provide the Force to make your mass accelerate:
Camp NaNoWriMo: I am a firm believer it's never too late to start a NaNoWriMo novel. So don't let the fact that it's August 13 stop you. Or set a smaller goal--no one judges you for not writing 50,000 words. Just get in there and write. I'm delighted that the Office of Letters and Light has started offering programs in the summer, and send people there as often as I can.
Write On Con: The annual online Kidlit conference is back again for another year, this Tuesday and Wednesday, 8/14-15. If you have a work ready for show, you can hop into the forums and post your query, first page, and first five for critique--and maybe even get a critique or even a request from one of the "Ninja Agents" who will be hanging out in the forum. And if you just have a WIP, there's still lots to learn from the conference itself. I've found WOC to be an unending source of great information, and two years running now, it's helped me get my butt in gear to have something ready to query.
As for me? I'm sorry for the long hiatus. And I'll try not to be too much an "object at rest," because if I remember correctly, my physics teacher said something about less force being needed to accelerate an object already in motion, too...
Jessica S. Schley was once a pusher of very important papers for a small commercial nonfiction house. Nowadays, she divides her time between bookselling, being a grad student, and writing contemporary fiction for young adults.
- ▼ 2012 (33)