It's 6AM. A disheveled teen girl sits grinning like crazy in front of her computer. She probs should have gone to bed eight hours ago, but sleep is totally for the weak. Also, school starts in two hours, but who gives a flipped pancake? Her manuscript is REVISED.
Is this disheveled girl me? Yes! Guys, I'm so excited - Autochromatic is new and improved, and I actually finished revising it a little earlier than I thought I would. Mostly because, I, uh, stayed up 'til 6AM on Wednesday night to do it [insert evil genius laugh].
Honestly, there wasn't even a deadline looming - it just felt right, and as time passed I felt like the Energizer Bunny. I came to school two hours later feeling gloriously hung over and giggling uncontrollably, but oh man, it was worth it! (Forreals, is there anything better than being a writer?)
For what it's worth, I got more done that night than I'd gotten done in the past week. Which, I think, raises some cool points about productivity. Sense says that in a rad ideal world, every writer's productivity graph - charting level of output as days go by - would look like this:
We're talking all insane 6AM-level output, all the time. Now, that's pretty epic, but it's also kind of unrealistic - most people's brains and bodies can't maintain it. So let's say the "real world" perfect graph is this:
Here the line is steadily productive, not spiking to either extreme. It's deff possible to maintain this, and set deadlines encourage it (that's why they're awesome). Still, I feel like most of the time, the average writer's graph is more like this:
As in, very unpredictable and random. Why? Because sometimes life gets in the way; sometimes it's happy to let you write. Sometimes you need time to think through a tricky scene, and sometimes you find yourself typing like a madman until late into the night.
I used to get so unnerved whenever my graph hit bottom for an extended period. But I've realized now that just because you don't got it one week doesn't mean you won't the next. As long as you love writing, you are still a writer, whether that chapter takes a day or a month to work through. Just because the oxygen for the fire is momentarily gone doesn't mean the coals aren't still burning, ready to roar to life again.
In truth, we all go at our own pace - and that's great. It means having a blast as you let your own personal ebb and flow guide you through this crazy voyage they call writing.
My question for you is: what does your productivity graph look like? Man, December has been wild so far, and now the holidays are upon us! I'm probably going to stay lamely internet-dead until my early-January college applications deadline, but after that I can't wait to get back in the swing of things. Somehow I know 2011 is going to hold great things for all of us. Wh00t!