Posted by Jarsto in Writing
December 8th, 2008 | No Comments »

I wrote this on my PDA yesterday, but never got around to transferring it to the blog. So here it goes, just one day late.

10:30 I almost regretted having a write-in to go to today when my alarm went this morning. I’ve gotten over the shock now, but it would have been nice to have been able to sleep in a bit more. Still there’s no helping that, and I know I’ll have a lot of fun once I get to the write in. Right now I have another 45 minutes to go before I change trains, and then after a wait, another 40 minutes or so on the second train of the day, so travel is the first order of business.

The good news, certain for this first stretch, is that I’ve managed to find a place in a special ‘silent’ carriage on the train. I’m still listening to my music most of the time, but these carriages are pretty nifty. They are marked on the windows with a band on the top. There’s a big “S” in the centre of this band, and the word silence on either side of it. Once in Dutch (stilte) and once in English. These carriages are meant to allow people to get some work done on the train, and I can attest to the fact that they work. I’ve written over 800 words already in the first 30 minutes or so of the journey. That of course puts me well clear of my 500 word daily goal, and is also a nice boost going into the write-in. For all that we like to complain about them, sometimes the railways do apparently get things right.

20:30 My plan to write a couple of entries in this file during the day didn’t really materialise. Once we got to the write-in we were having too much fun to really get into this file again. We – or at least I – didn’t do a terrible lot of writing while actually at the writein this time, by I still did some. And of course just being around other people as crazy as me – about writing – was a lot of fun as always.

Most of the writing for the day was/is being done on the train. I’m on my way back home now, and in the process of putting in another stretch of words. And my total for the journey to the write in was 1474 in the end. Not bad for a couple of hours on public transport. In fact my total for the day has just passed the 2614 words I did during the first 6 days of the month. That’s great of course, but it does give me a bit of a problem now: I have to find yet another goal to keep myself motivated for the rest of the journey. Beating the rest of the month was what kept me going through the last scene I wrote. The inspiration is there for the next one as well, but having a bit of an extra spark never hurt the writing progress. Maybe I’ll aim for a nicely rounded 3k, I can always see where I can go from there.

21:00 I’ve made it past 3k now. In fact I made it past 3k about ten minutes ago. Since then I’ve been working on another document. But I just realised I hadn’t blogged yet about the way I’m writing now. On the two trains this morning, and the first train tonight, I was lucky: I managed to get a seat with some form of table to work on. But on this train, covering the longer stretch of my journey tonight, there was no such luck. I did get a seat, which is always a good thing – this is a pretty busy train – but it doesn’t have a table.

Fortunately I’d planned for this eventuality. Brought along 2 ringbinders today. One with my printed manuscript, should I want to consult that, and just for situations like this. Not aimed specifically at the train journey, but at the write-in as well, where depending on seating arrangements I might have ended up having to do lap-top writing. It still imposes some limits on the way I can sit to have the keyboard on top of a ring binder in my lap, but it’s a lot better than sitting with my knees close together in order to sufficiently support the part of the keyboard holding the PDA while I type in my lap. I may eventually look into getting something specifically for this, like a piece of thin ply-wood roughly the same size as a sheet of A4 paper (slightly smaller than my ringbinder), just to have something thinner – and therefore even easier to carry – to support the keyboard on. But for the time being, the ringbinder does very nicely, and I’ve got enough of them stocked up to be able to take one along whenever I need one.

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