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This Is What Productivity Looks Like


When my coffee table develops a sense of humor like this, you know my mind has been engaged. I like to consider it one of those "signs of creative genius," you know, like drinking too much, sleeping too little, or swearing like a sailor. (You can find a report of scientific evidence of every kind of adulting failure or personal vice as a sign of genius, and I recommend it. It makes you feel great without having to change your habits, like watching an episode of Hoarders instead of cleaning your house.) However, I think a dinosaur has laid an egg under an old magazine back there. Hmm.

I've been immersed in my novel these past few weeks, taking notes on archaeology texts, watching documentaries, filling in my outline, and sketching out scenes and dialog. It's been a slow process of deepening my settings and characters and weaving historical insights into my plot, with little new writing happening, but I've still pushed the manuscript over 35,000 words.

And now that I look over my shoulder from this writing desk, I'm a little scared of getting buried alive. It's not that my family isn't helpful, but my husband will not stop washing laundry that I have to hang up or put away (how annoying!), and my daughter, like me, would rather do "chores" that make messes rather than clean them up--like baking a batch of cookies last night, almost entirely by herself. (How could I say no? It's reading and math and chemistry and all kinds of educational.) Then I cleaned up after her almost entirely by myself, earning several cookies for my efforts.

Anyway, getting into the flow of noveling is the best, but every once in a while, we must pause to dig ourselves out of real-world mayhem.

I don't plan on falling behind in my writing just to clear clutter, though. I hope to meet up with members of my writing group, the Pigasus Pen, this (yet again) warm autumn weekend for a lengthy write-a-thon at a local pizza tavern. My goal is to leave with an impressive boost to my word count, but if we spend the whole afternoon giggling over crass jokes, I'll blame it on our irrepressible creative genius. We do what we can.

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