Finishing a chapter

I finished chapter 33 yesterday. More interruptions than I care to admit to kept me from writing, but that is a writer’s life. Since mid last year, I’ve had more distractions than I want. But I’m beating a dead horse here, ain’t I?

No one is holding a gun to my head or my children as hostage, to keep me from writing. The fault lies with me. I’ve broken years of routine. Up around 6 a.m., cafe con leche, start the computer, go over yesterday’s pages. Begin new pages. Look at notes. Allow characters to takeover and tell me where to go. Another con leche.

Noon, or a little before, I’m done. Mentally whipped. I may like where I am in the story and possibly treat myself to lunch downtown with a friend. Or I am not excited with where I am and worry about where the storyline is going. That worry will follow me to bed.

I might sit under the house, have a beer and cigar while I watch TV, but my mind will be more occupied with the story than with the news or a program I recorded earlier. TV is often an escape. It allows my mind to rest. Other times it’s background noise.

These days, I find myself writing more often in the late morning into the early afternoon. I’m okay with that, as long as I am writing. But old morning habit has had me schedule doctor appointments, lunch dates, visit to the tailors and other things in the afternoon. My friends know not to call me until afternoon.

Here is something Robert DeNiro said (I think he’s been reading my mail):

The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination, consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing, and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.

Robert De Niro


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