As you can see, the last month was pretty much a dead zone as far as progress on Resilience is concerned. After a post-Worldcon inspired writing tear (from 8/22 through 10/9, the wordcount leapt up from 49,072 to 60,542 -- I know, for some of you that would be a very slow month indeed, but for me it's a tear) I hit a wall on 10/9 and wordcount was frozen until the other day, when I began haltingly crawling forward again.
I use two projected completion dates in that spreadsheet, mostly for motivational purposes. The first is based on the average progress over the whole stretch since I moved to Switzerland, and its psychological purpose is mainly calming: the sense that, even if it looks bleak at the moment, over the long haul it is predictable that I will someday finish the first draft's projected 90,000 words. That date, with a lot of inertia behind it, doesn't move much: on 9/24, in the midst of the month of extreme productivitly, the calmer, more conservative voice of my spreadsheet told me I'd have a first draft done on August 24, 2009 (just after turning 40); now, after a month of languishing, that same calm voice predicts October 1, 2009: more or less the same ballpark.
Then there is the 14-day moving average. The psychological purpose of this date is to project how I'm doing lately, to give me a sense of how things will be if this go on. Rather than a calming effect, it is invigorating or excoriating, depending on the previous two weeks. It is the wild-eyed, emotionally mercurial counterpart to the total average's calm sobriety. On 9/24. mid-sprint, this voice, whipped into a frenzy of enthusiasm, promised me a finished draft by the end of this year; now, thrown down into a pit of abject, desperate despair, it moans that I will type "The End" on February 17th, 2010 (back in June, it was claiming 2015).
The nice thing about having these two numbers is I can pick the one I like better. So naturally, last month I fully believed the 14-day moving average's grandiose claims that we'd be done soon; this month, I dismiss its moaning as an absurd overreaction, and console myself with its sober sibling's predictions of next summer.
Anyway, a lot of things conspired this past month to throw me off-course:
So you would think that that would all be sufficient excuse for a month off, right? Still, I'm half-regretting it. It's so incredibly grueling to start writing a novel again when the ashes are cold in the fireplace. I always ask: why the hell do you do this to yourself?
Posted by benrosen at November 17, 2008 11:13 AM | Up to blog