Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The aftermath of a mystery conference

As you know from Vicki’s post yesterday, we had the final Bloody Words here in Toronto over the weekend. It’s always been a really enjoyable, small, and very Canadian sort of event that will be sorely missed over the coming years. It would be nice if others were to step forward to carry the ball for future events, but for now The Bloody Gang has decided they’ve had enough. Who can blame them? Organizing something of this magnitude takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and not much of it is fun. Everyone who worked so hard on this BW and all the ones in Toronto (and elsewhere) that came before it deserve thanks and gratitude. This goes for all the other crime writing cons that take place every year. I don’t know how people do it year after year.

I’ve got a lot on my plate work-wise this week, so my post will have to be brief. There are so many author-related things I’d like to be spending my time on, too, but everything has to take a back seat until tomorrow. You see, I’m doing the yearly pilgrimage to my accountant tomorrow morning (along with my wife — who is definitely not in a good mood at the moment) to get my tax return prepared and sent off, and as always, I left all the slug work (entering and sorting data) until the last moment. Since we’re self-employed, we have until June 15th to file (there is a small fine assessed) and regardless of what we vow each June 16th, we always seem to wind up in the same boat the following year.

It’s sort of like that with writing. Very seldom do you have a gun to your head, so writing on any particular day is easy to put off when something else comes up, important or not. Problem is, it’s not just procrastination you’re dealing with. There is also actual harm to the writing process. All those things you’ve loaded into “mental RAM” tends to dissipate the longer you’re away from your novel-in-progress. When you do get back to work, it takes time and effort to get everything loaded in again. Entropy has probably also taken place, and you can often find yourself missing key parts of what you had been planning to write.

I know that’s going to happen to me, and it makes me not want to face the inevitable. Procrastination once again raises it’s ugly kisser. Sigh...

As well, I didn’t touch my trumpet for three whole days because of BW. That causes the same sort of difficulties, although in this case it’s physical instead of mental. When I finally put mouthpiece to lips yesterday, it was a mixed blessing. There was a sigh of relief as the first notes of my warm-up floated out into the air, but several of them splatted on the wall in front of me, though, due to the long hiatus. I was well aware that by missing three days, I probably put myself six days behind. Seriously. It will take that long for things to feel right once again. That’s the way it is when you play an instrument.

Perhaps it’s the same way with writing.

Only one way to find out…


Here’s something fun that I saw on Facebook yesterday. I know it will resonate with all you Type M fans:


Eileen Goudge said...

I know what you mean, Rick! I picture my brain as a cell phone battery slowly draining when I'm away from my writing for too long. I can't even talk to another person. It's a constant juggling act, balancing a writing career with something that resembles a life.

Rick Blechta said...

That's precisely why authors have the reputation they do as irascible and antisocial loners (except for me and thee, of course!). I like your battery analogy.

And to think that Mozart could walk around with an entire symphony in his head just waiting to be written down the night before the premiere or something silly like that. I can't remember what I'm supposed to buy at the grocery store...