Saturday, July 20, 2013

A First Draft of A First Draft Machine

Mexican sunflower
I don't let Hope play near traffic because she'll get hurt.  Instead, I keep her close to my heart. ~ LRZ

A first draft is a tricky little devil.  It slips and slides out of grip.  Often times I wear myself out running through starts that cough and sputter.  Those are false starts that don't get the engine roaring.  I want a beginning that powers the piece.

Conference prep
I've been reading a lot about how we sit too much and about treadmill desks, so I thought I'd try the treadmill for hammering out a first draft.  The machine does not appeal to me at all for running.  A mile feels like ten when you're staring at cement walls and shelving filled with books and other stuff that you can't seem to part with.

I simply added a wooden table insert over the treadmill arms and voila, a desk.  It's dark in the cellar so, I enlisted the help of a retired dorm light.  Together my team and I are moving forward much faster putting words, okay scribbled words, on paper. 

Last post, I mentioned I wanted to start three things, but I hadn't even decided what three.  I hopped on that treadmill and walked my way through that decision, selecting three diverse projects.  Not only that, in one hours time, I wrote 2.5 pages of anything but neat writing.  That writing moved me forward on all three projects.   

The one bothersome aspect of this First Draft Machine is that it uses electricity.  Thus the trade-off becomes productivity versus energy use.  I am now thinking sitting on an exercise ball or standing may be enough movement to get momentum going on a first draft.  Next time I write a first draft, I will test out one of these ideas.  

I used the treadmill prior to the 21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference to read books by authors and publishing houses.  Aside from one book that I mentioned, that prep work was all but forgotten when I got there.  Stellar.  I noticed 2014 information is on the website.  I plan to return.


No comments :

Post a Comment