Suffer the consequences of the lurgy alone in your room – don’t be a martyr; don’t get up and work on your words. You will be sorry. You will delete every little bit you did. You will destroy the confidence you had in the story line.
You will be sick longer.
When the words become too casual, too ‘not quite right’ – slide the chair out, take the drugs appropriate to the condition, and Go Back To Bed!
‘Cos that’s what happened. I got sick. Not good. But I was so close to finishing off the serious bit of that particular play up to the major turning point. I suffered through a whole day of writing ‘stuff’ – and then, this morning, I read it.
The scream is still playing in my ears. The voice of the story is gone. It is as dull and thick headed as a ‘flu head can be. It is wrong. It is bad. It is not ‘the’ story.
What do you think I had to do? Yep. Back to the scene outline, back to the place where I began those stupidly moronic attempt at words that came from a head that didn’t have a sensible thought in it – and deleted it.
Well, not really.
After I’d read a few para’s of what I’d written, I went back to the previous version.
That’s why versioning is so critical.
Because if you do something silly (like trying to think you can think when you have ‘flu), you can hide the version you did it in, and go back to the one from the day before.
And start again.
Presuming the head is still solid in the way it can deal with the needs of the story.
And I can tell, even now, that this is not the case. Words fly by – they should mean something, but they don’t – what was I talking about? Oh, yes.
A clear head, a defined pattern of thoughts, a clarity in the direction of the story and the characters within it – that’s what’s needed. And if that’s what I don’t have, I should just have that hot drink, take that drug – if I can remember which one is appropriate – and go back to bed.
Will I do that? It is raining; there is a storm outside; it would be nice to snuggle up under a warm doona with a dog to keep me warm …. but the dog doesn’t like to sleep on the bed (very strange for a dog, I can tell you!), the sheets on the bed need changing because of all the fever sweats, and there might be a good show on telly, or a vid I haven’t seen for a while. Oh, yes, Strassman – that’s what I’ll watch.
Later, the other stuff can happen later.
And the words can happen tomorrow … maybe.