It started with THE MOVE.
My novel-writing routine had been established. The plot’s framework was in place. Eight reasonably-tight chapters had been written. Several key characters had appeared. Momentum and muse were one.
And the novel’s creator looked, and behold, it was good.
Then we moved. Two weeks of packing and moving, a week or two of unpacking after. New driving routes. New stores. New days and different nights. New writing routine. Good to go…until the second challenge to my momentum: THE LAPTOP DEATH.
I’m not talking about weight gain that leads you to have to remember what your lap looks like (If you have to ask what I mean by that, grab a few cheesecakes, several large piles of fried foods, bags of salty snacks, a case of sugar-laden or adult beverages, and start there. Repeat with similar items daily for four weeks. You’ll find out). No, my ancient laptop computer perished. It died making a horrible screeching sound…I can still hear its cries of pain as the broken hard drive created piles of black plastic dust churning within itself. Well, that’s basically what my highly skilled and sometimes nauseatingly cheerful computer guru told me had happened.
One more thing happened as a result of my laptop’s demise. My momentum remained elusive and at large for another week. Fortunately, as I mentioned, my computer guru is highly skilled (and reasonably priced!). He resurrected my laptop and returned it better than before, with a prophetic warning about the thing being nearly ten years old and bonus advice about online backups. I’m thankful I had at least backed the thing up on my own to a flash drive, and only lost about 5% of the work.
Some may say I could have written longhand in an effort to maintain momentum. I say “Naaahh.” I am most comfortable and productive with a keyboard. I edit constantly during the writing process, and in longhand that translates to all kinda mean, nasty, and ugly things…obliterated phrases… scratched out sentences…little v-shaped carrots planted in scattered fashion throughout the page…circles and arrows and notes, oh my..believe me, it’s not a pretty sight. Besides, I’m going to have to get it onto the screen at some point anyway. It works best that way for me. If you write, or want to, you know or you’ll find there are as many ways to the process as there are characters in the Chinese alphabet. In the writing process, I believe what works best for you to get the work done is the best way to go about it.
During the time of not writing, plot ideas and characters have continued to accumulate in my mind’s novel notes. One of my characters will now drink strawberry daquiris with three olives. Another that didn’t previously exist has been added, along with a related plot twist. The muse is still lounging about, in spite of momentum’s absence.
So, with resurrected computer and a backlog of mental material, the momentum begins again. Onward. Forward movement. In the chair. At the keyboard. On the path to finishing the book.
Momentum has returned. Good to see you again, Momentum. I missed you. Thanks for waiting while I navigated the twisty road of circumstances and situations. And now, back to our regularly scheduled progress…