As you can see by my sidebar, I did make some writing progress. Not enough to get me to 50,000 by the end of the month, but I think I should be able to hit 20,000 or 25,000, and that's awesome for me. If I can consistently write 25,000 words a month, then I can finish a draft of a book every four months. That's where I hope to be at some point in the future, but I know my muse well enough to know that 25,000 words a month won't always be possible anytime soon. I still have a decent amount to learn about the craft, my particular spin on it, and how to manage my life in general.
But I got a step closer yesterday. I realized that part of the issues I have with conflict and passivity center around the big career shake up I had two years ago. I had slotted 2000-2006 to be my grad school years, getting to Arizona by 2010 after some postdocing somewhere. Well, all that changed in 2002, but not really as Mark will be in grad school until 2006 and may have to do a postdoc after that (depending on what's best for his career goals). Instead of using this time to do anything, I somehow managed to convince myself that "real life" couldn't really start until we got to Arizona. My options are, in a sense, limited because I have to be here and working as long as it takes for Mark to finish. But translating that family necessity into an "I'm just stuck in the mud for now" mentality hasn't done me, my writing, or Mark any favors. So I'm changing it.
Yes, sometimes I can't force my writing. Sometimes the muse has a deathgrip on inspiration for a particular scene or chapter. Instead of just staying put and letting that downtime beat me up, I'm going to step to the side. If I block a time for writing, I have to do something creative no matter what. If the writing won't come (and I have to try for at least a half hour), then I have to work on another project or do some research for a future project or do something else creative--even if it's just coloring in my Muppet Babies coloring book (don't knock it; coloring with crayons and markers is extremely therapeautic). I've got a built in creative outlet for crunched writing times in making those ornaments I do every year.
I'm very excited about this rule. It finally gives me the control I always had but never realized or allowed myself to feel and use. Hopefully this will translate into getting more writing done as well. And maybe some blogging too. :)