I’ve had a revelation today. I’ve been struggling to get back in the writing rhythm and meet my targets of late. I love writing, but I’m not used to editing. I’m still learning how when it comes to this aspect of the craft. But, I have a plan and I’m sticking to it, if only because it moves me forward rather than force me to stand still through indecision.
When I remembered that The Ashes began this week, I thought this would be the death knell for my editing efforts. For those not familiar with the Ashes it is a selection of cricket Test matches played between England and Australia and it can be fiercely competitive. A lot of people I know don’t like cricket – especially Test Cricket which is played over five days – but my Dad really enjoys it.
Thus, when I was a kid I had the opportunity to bond with my father over this game that often had lulls in play. I was especially intrigued by something I heard called ‘Silly Point’. This is a position of a fielder who stands a few feet away from the batsman wearing a protective helmet because he can sometimes get hit quite forcefully: hence the name – it’s a pretty silly place to stand. My questions began there and I continued to pester my Dad about all the ‘ins and outs’ (excuse the pun) of this fascinating game. So much so I even predicted Michael Vaughn would make a formidable England Captain three years before he proved me right by winning the 2005 Ashes with England – their first victory since 1987.
But, I digress…
Because of this relationship with my Dad, I really enjoy cricket, especially Test Cricket. Even though I don’t watch any other sport, nor have the means to watch any of the matches live – I knew that I would listen to the game via radio at every chance I got.
I was convinced this would impact my writing and editing efforts in only a negative way.
Surprisingly it has not.
Knowing that I would be distracted I seem to have put more concentration into my editing as the commentators talk in the background. I usually cannot listen to any thing – music, television, my partner – when I write or edit. But the cricket seems to focus me. It makes me feel just guilty enough for not giving my full attention to my writing that I’ve actually spent more time on it. It gives me a good reason to sit down at my desk, radio on, and forge ahead with the edits. I’ve completed almost 3,000 words of editing on That which is left is lost whilst listening to the cricket – compare that to my weekly target, which is typically 5,000 words (spread over four days).
Cricket motivates me. It encourages me to EARN the right to enjoy the indulgence of listening to it while I’m doing something that I love. With all the ups and downs in the cricket today, it could have proved a huge distraction – we’ve had wickets falling everywhere, controversial umpire decisions and a fantastic but shocking debut by an Australian bowler. Yet, today has been my most successful writing day in many weeks; and it’s not over yet!
As the wordmeter site seems to be having some problems – I’m 31,276 words (out of 98,000) into editing NaNo #1 and have almost 8,000 words (out of 12,000) of Cecelia’s Story typed up.