sometimes, 5 minutes isn’t enough (or is it?)

i tend to go on a bit about how fantastic the insights are that i discover in even my ‘5 minutes’ sessions. they are fantastic, but they don’t always happen.

actually, that’s not entirely true, either.

take yesterday, for example. i even got to it in the middle of the day – i was 10 minutes early to piano practice and took advantage of the pause – but though i tried, and the area i was in was without distractions, i still was unable to make any genuine progression. write a line, scribble it out; try another thought, think better of it; try another, realize it utterly contradicts the whole rest of the framework; stare at the page; try again.

a total failure.


while it did feel that way yesterday, when i looked again at my notes in the wee hours this morning, i realized i had actually finally found a productive thread. right at the very end of my fruitless work was a sentence beginning to describe a powerfully formative childhood experience of Manadan’s. it was only one line and really a bird’s eye view of the situation, but there it was.

so, while it was not as productive a session as previous days, it was necessary. i clearly needed to address that blockage. i knew this section was going to be a hurdle, so i should have been a bit better prepared for that frustration, but learning never stops, does it?

to that point, i did have a good realization. i’m working on a potential framework for the overall story, something a little different than i’ve done before. i have an idea i like and i’ve been trying to make it work technically, but it keeps not quite working. it’s cool, but i can’t quite figure out all the pieces.

it was only after i had stepped away from it and was reflecting on the futility of the day’s work that i realized what i was doing: forcing it. hard as it is to accept, i must do so. the idea, while still cool and definitely containing future potential, is not right for this and i have to let it go. what’s more, i need to abide by rule #8. the framework for a story is something i can deal with later. i need to get the story itself out, first.

so, when i couldn’t sleep anymore at 4am this morning, and after i finished grading the last of my school work, i got to work reading the rest of what i’ve already written for this book. with any luck, that will be done today, and i can make a solid start of going forward from there this weekend.

first, though, it’s time to pay the bills with the day job.


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