We’ve now recognised a pattern in this two-days per chapter fast-writing business. The first day is harder than the second. That’s because on the first day we have to work out how to rhetorically frame the chapter and the order that things will go in, as well as decide on the strategies and exemplar texts that we’ll use. This means that we have to produce more words on the second day – but we make less decisions. Inevitably, the first day is more frustrating than the second; the writing feels harder and is generally much less enjoyable than we’d ideally like.
We can now add to this two-day pattern the fact that we are getting tired. We’ve never actually written together for as long as this. We did a pretty decent slab of time in Singapore, but not the two and half weeks that we’re doing now.
We’d liked to have stopped yesterday. But we couldn’t. We have more to do and still have a few days together. Although we can see our next Monday evening end-point looming, we have quite a bit of text to churn out before then.
So how are we managing this intensity and creeping exhaustion? Well, this morning was a bit sweary. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I do have a tendency to sweariness, and this gets worse when I get tired. My will is centred on keeping going rather than keeping my tongue in check. Barbara’s computer is playing up and, as she was doing a lot of the typing this morning, she had the odd uncouth word to say too. So a slightly sweary morning.
But by this afternoon we had to do something drastic. We really, really wanted to stop. So we resorted to music clips on youtube to summon up a bit of energy.
We started with Working in a coal mine, by Devo. “ Whew, about to slip down, Lord I’m so-o-o-o-o tired. How long can this go on”… followed by Kraftwerk on the endless Autobahn. “Wir fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der Autobahn”. etc etc… We didn’t quite manage the 22 minute version. Finally, and not too far off hysteria by this point, we opted for Talking Heads Burning down the house. “Hold tight, wait till the party’s over, Hold tight, we’re in for nasty weather, There has got to be a way, Burning down the house…”
Hands waving in the air, singing loudly, we pumped ourselves up enough to make the last run at the chapter for the day. Both of us are now comatose and semi-coherent. We will have a very quiet and anti-social evening to ensure we can get back to it again tomorrow.
Today we managed 4,500 words and amassed most of the bits and pieces we need for the rest of Chapter 8.