That Clicking Feeling

Generally speaking, I'm a pretty analog guy. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things that have been made better or easier by technology, and I willingly admit that I indulge in many of these conveniences daily, but there are several archaic practices that I prefer simply because they feel better. I genuinely prefer the feeling of holding a book and turning the pages, of flipping through D&D manuals to write up a character sheet with a pencil. There's something visceral in these kinds of actions that one simply cannot get swiping a finger across a screen or using a point-and-click software that fills in the blanks for you. Among this list of serotonin-seeping sensory triggers, right up there with power chords and no-complies, is the feeling of fingers across a nice loud keyboard.

The sound is a big part of it, I think, especially when rifling off a string of words in rapid succession. It's similar to what I imagine fighting game enthusiasts feel when they keep piling onto a combo. It sounds and feels like progress, like you're really getting something done.

I wrote the first draft of The Summerlark Elf for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In order to "win" NaNo, I had to write an average of 1,667 words per day for thirty days. During the month of November 2013, I threw myself so entirely into writing that initial draft. I woke up and wrote before going to work, and stayed up until one or two in the morning after work to keep writing. My older brother gave me an old tablet so that I could write on the go, which I did: on the bus to or from seeing Deanna, or on break at work. I even bought a bluetooth keyboard to help streamline the act of writing on said tablet.

I was hungry, driven, and committed. I made sure that I tried my hardest to clock in those 1,667 words every day. I chided myself if I didn't, and resolved to make up the difference the next day. When all was said and done, I passed the 50,000 word goal, and even managed to do so a few days early.

Writing the second book has been... different. There are probably a number of things I could chalk it up to, say the fact that I'm working more hours in a more mentally engaging position at work, or the fact that this book is taking on a broader scope than the first, with more characters and plot-points, but what it comes down to is that, comparatively, I have written roughly 36,000 words in the last four months. I am effectively writing in one week what I used to write in one day. I still write on my breaks at work, but that has been more or less the only time I've written, and there are days where I simply look at a blinking cursor for forty-five minutes, and maybe write a paragraph or two of dialogue, if only for the sake of getting a few words down, to say that I wrote something that day. The fact of the matter is, though, on days like that I don't feel like I get that clicking feeling.

So, what is one to do? I'm not giving up, if that's what you're afraid that I'm eluding to, fine readers. Worry not, the story is far from over. What I need to do, however, is figure out how best to fix up my routine, to recapture that frothing motivation that coursed through me like a disease last November. I've got a few ideas, and I'll no doubt report their efficacy to you all as I try them out, but for now, I'm simply content to be writing down this blog post, to get that feeling of a barrage of clicks under my fingers, that sound of ideas coming to life.