So, Indianapolis. I think the best way to explain is this: Indianapolis was my attempt to be a turn-faucet.
(Note: I have no idea if these are actually referred to turn-faucets and push-faucets, but that’s what I’m calling them, okay?)
On one hand, you have turn-faucets. They offer a wide range of control. Temperature, volume, duration. With a turn-faucet, you can decide all of those factors and more. Turn-faucets are versatile and accommodating.
(Although the one in that picture is not particularly stylish.)
(But it IS the kind we have in our condo.)
On the other hand, you have push-faucets. One press does it all, and one press is all it does. You get about twenty seconds of water that you can only hope is neither frigid nor searing. (Usually it’s frigid.) Push-faucets are easy but limited.
You can see where this is going, right?
Some writers trickle out a few words one day, then pour whole chapters the next. Other writers produce a steady stream of paragraphs each time they sit down to work. The question was, which kind of writer was I going to be?
Now, I can type (conservatively) 60 words per minute, which means I should be able to write 3,600 words per hour. And yet, when I have to craft those words into sentences, shape them into story, my rate goes waaaay down.
Maybe it’s because I sit facing a wall.* Or because I work at home instead of going out to coffee shops and libraries. Or because I use Scrivener. Or Chrome. Or a Mac. Or…
Yeah, I know.
Anyway, back in October when I was getting really frustrated about my progress (or lack thereof), the We Heart YA girls suggested I go on a writing retreat. To eliminate distractions. To get rid of any and all (stupid) excuses. To make the final push and Finnish my book.
Or as I saw it: To prove once and for all that I could be a turn-faucet.
As Barney Stinson would say: Challenge accepted.
After doing some research, I settled on Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis. It was relatively close and inexpensive, and it seemed like a nice place. (Definitely was.) I went alone, worked furiously from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, and was really looking forward to blogging about my lovely, triumphant getaway on Monday morning.
But as you all know, I didn’t finish my manuscript that weekend. I didn’t even finish it later that week. No, it took me another 3 months to finish. Why?
Because I am a push-faucet.
For a while, I felt like a failure. The further I got from the weekend, the more it seemed like I was NEVER going to finish. Like I was a fool for thinking I ever could. Then one day, I got SO far away that it didn’t even matter. And that was when I finally had enough emotional distance to realize the truth.
That weekend was a huge success.
(In a way.)
That weekend in Indy taught me that no matter how perfect the circumstances, I really can’t write more than 2 hours at a time, and in those 2 hours, I average about 500-700 words. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, or how bad I want it, I simply am not a turn-faucet. That’s not a tragedy; that’s just a reality. And as long as I accept it, I can make it work for me.
Which is exactly what I’ve been teaching myself to do these past 3 months. But that’s another story for another day.
So whether you’ve got 360º flexibility, or one-push consistency, embrace it. There’s no right or wrong way to get the words out. Water is water.
*Note: I no longer sit facing a wall. But that too is another story for another day.