I can't remember if I first ran across it in-novel via one of his many author-avatar characters or if it was in On Writing, but at some point in my reading life Stephen King described "The Zone" and I totally clicked onto this concept. I'm a haphazard writer by nature, but also a very prolific one. My "official" NaNo total came to around 155k, but that doesn't account for the two 3k stories, the 7k other not-finished short story, the 3k not-finished short story, another 3k of assorted dribbles that haven't got official story status yet, and the monster 30k "short" story I wrote over the last three days in between writing all this other stuff.
I haven't done all that much today, to be honest, it being the first of December. But I have to go back to New Zealand on Sunday and I have a list of stories I want to finish before I do. One of them is done. I'm going to make myself a shopping list just to make a point to myself, actually.
No Good Deed - projected 10k worth of angst and sweetcakes.
Expressions of Etiquette - entirely screwed up short story about coming "home" for the holidays.
The Blacksmith's Daughter - unnecessarily horrific story about smallfolk and the whims of the gods.
Dream About Flying - bizarre misaimed Aesop about jerkass genies and falling in love with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love with.
They're all in...varying states. The first is finished and stands at just over 6k. The second has about 7.5k to its name and I figure I could finish it tonight. The third is complicated as I haven't written much of it -- maybe 800 words -- and I need to have it finished by next Friday. The fourth is all plotted out at just under 3k and just needs to be filled in; I should finish it tonight over the second, actually, because it needs to be less than 6k anyway and I need to do something with it before the 15th. The last is...maybe 2.5k written and is for a friend for Christmas and therefore can wait until everything else is done, so...maybe if I can get Daughter finished tonight and Deed mostly done, I can spend tomorrow finishing Deed and then working on Expressions. And then I won't feel like a failure for maybe two minutes.
I'm having an odd time of it, you see. I was told yesterday via email that I didn't make the cut of the master's programme, so I'm at a loose end as to what to do next year. There are benefits, of course; I can now go to Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam for my birthday in February without crippling worry about funding a move to Wellington, and without the university schedule holding me to the country I can go meet up with friends in Seattle for a weekend in August and then pop over for SARAP! in Edmonton with friends met in Turkey. I just...I'd wanted this programme, you see, to help me learn something about my writing and also make contacts. I guess I just need to spend January editing and querying Greywater and hope something comes of it. I just...don't really know.
But I have been reminded that I love writing. Whenever I get rejected I tend to think "FINE I SUCK I'LL JUST QUIT." But I know that I won't. Because I can't. The infamous 30k in three days thing is proof of that. It just...poured out of my heart and through my fingertips and onto the computer screen and it made me laugh and cry and laugh some more and I just...I don't know. Maybe my writing will never mean anything to anyone but me. Maybe I'm just stuck in the Zone all on my own.
But I'm going home in the weekend and I know the DVD pictured above will be waiting, as I tossed it back from London before I left the UK. It's my Christmas movie. And it's December now. Time for joy, they say...and that was one reason why I wrote that 30k story. It's...kind of a Christmas present, though I'm not sure I'll have the nerve to send it to the person it was written for. But I probably will. Christmas is an awkward time in my family; there are terrible memories for us associated with the season, but then there are so many brilliant ones too. And that was what the 30k was about. The beginning after the end.
And I already knew that carpets can fly, anyway.