Notes from a subway drafter…

Can I blame the summer heat for my writing slump? It seems the only time I can manage to write anything is a couple hundred words during my morning commute, the subway AC blasting, ice coffee in my hand, tapping on my phone. Sometimes, I wonder if my neighbors on the train ever take a look at my screen. What they think about these strange names and dialogue about magic and imaginary kingdoms. I wonder what they think of me, but for now, it seems like the only place I am brave enough to submerge myself into my own fantasy world is when I am stuck underground surrounded by dozens of other disgruntled commuters.

(Full disclosure – I am a total snoop on the subway on the rare occasions I don’t have a book with me. I am always reading over my neighbor’s shoulders. I call it being observant. Isn’t that an essential skill for a writer?)

I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month. My goal is to write 1,000 words every day. I did well the first 10 days or so. An average of 1,000 words a day, some days a little more. But then I got sick (the dreaded summer cold), and I got busy (work events, an obstacle race, birthdays), and I stopped writing except for those few hundred words on my commute.

I sat down last night – no plans, no errands, no chores – and managed to eke out around 300 words. Every word was like pulling teeth. And then, this morning, on the subway and on my phone, I wrote over 400 words.

Perhaps I will have to take to drafting this entire thing with the help of the MTA. Maybe with a few more train delays, I can finish this draft by the end of the year.


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