The purpose and goal of my hiatus was to give me more time and fewer distractions in my effort to write a book in the range of 50,000 words.  Between mid-April when mr. jolt’s travel ended for the semester and mid-August, when it starts up again, I had 12 weeks or so, not counting some weeks spent traveling with family.  So, a little less than 5000 words a week.  No problemo, right?  My spring and summer progress:

Week 1: Develop walking pneumonia, spend evening in ER and several days in bed; no writing accomplished.

Week 2-3: Umm, not sure what happened here.  Must’ve still been recovering from pneumonia.  Or there were multiple end of school year evening events and t-ball games. Or something. Oh, yeah, now I remember, freshly recovered from pnuemonia, I spent a couple of weeks doing road trips for work making fascinating (not) presentations all over the state.  No writing accomplished. 

Week 4: 1200 words in one night, most I’ve written in one sitting in over a year.  Written while sitting in the third row of my minivan in a local park b/c the public library closes too early and the law library is closed evenings b/c of end of semester.

Week 5: 2500 words in one night.  But I’m still not getting my act together to do some minimal level of writing on other nights of the week.  Once again, written in the back of the minivan.

Week 6: Finally, back at my favorite carrel in the law library where I am tempted by the internet access and spend three hours doing internet research and copying various pages into some notes (with attribution for future reference) for my book. Virtually zero words (500), but useful b/c I finally got north and south straight in the location I’m writing about.

Week 7: Second week at the law library.  Still not nearly as productive as I was in the back of the minivan.  Contemplate making back of minivan semi-permanent writing nook (is this what Woolf meant by a room of one’s own?  Maybe she should have tried a minivan) Decide that too damn hot to sit in parked car at this point in season.  Keep in mind for fall writing efforts. 1200 words

Week Off: Travel West.  Great fun; trail horse ride, mini golf, staring at beautiful mountains, leave mr. jolt at conference and travel home with kids by myself and uninvited head cold.  Kids were great. (more on trip later)

Week 8: Trying again in the law library.  Must ignore internet.  Mixed success, but I force myself to sit until I’m up to 1800 words.  Also write guest post for tonk’s site.  Overall, fairly productive.

Week 9: Make mistake of eating pasta before heading to library to work.  Very full and sleepy.  Start writing up this account of the summer to remind me of how quickly the clock is ticking.  Figure that I am 70% done with available writing nights, but at only 10% of my goal.  Become convinced that I am a permanent slacker who will never accomplish anything.  Resolve to write something tonight, dammit. 1800 words.

Week 10: Find list of pending areas of my book to work on completely uninspiring. Decide that my problem is that I don’t have any real idea what I’m doing. Spend 15 minutes searching for local creative writing classes.  Give up.  If I were a teen, plenty of options, but no one around here is supporting the struggling adult writer.  Stumble across some interactive online courses.  Take ‘tour’ of online class.  Become totally bewitched by list of classes and online set up.  Look at all those enthusiastic quotes from former students.  Look at price tag: yikes! Balance desire v. pocketbook.  Balance desire v. concern over how to fit in 10 week class while mr. jolt has his last completely insane semester (oh if I had spotted these at the beginning of the summer!).  Balance $ v. fact that mr. jolt has been dropping a heckuva lot more on his phd courses (of course, he will actually get a degree at the end).  Know that mr. jolt will say go for it because (a) he really is supportive like that; and (b) he is semi-irresponsible fiscally at times. 1050 words.

Week 11: Decide to defragment my hard drive which is really effing slow.  It takes almost an hour and makes no appreciable difference.  Go back to online writing course site to drool.  Discover shorter introductory (cheaper!!) course.  Plan to register for six week course starting mid-August (which will of course overlap with one of the craziest times of the year – start of mr. jolt’s school; start of boy’s school; soccer practice 2-4 nights a week). 1300 words

Week 12: I have signed up for my writing course!  It starts mid-August and runs six weeks.  While I did not accomplish all I wanted to accomplish this summer, I did manage over 11,000 words in less than 48 hours (spread out over a few months).  I’m hoping that a return to blogging, and the need to submit stuff to class will help me create a more regular writing schedule (i.e., more than once a week).  The book that I started I plan to use bits and pieces of in this writing course, which if it goes well, I will take a writing course focused on that type of book.  But, I do think that realizing that trying to write without some instruction and feedback, at this point, is pretty pointless, and that realization and the fact that I actually got the nerve to sign up for a course is, for me, enough.

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