Teahouse on the Tracks (Alastair Reynolds)
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Wednesday, 3 October 2007
And Behold, a Pale Horse
Now Playing: Johnny Cash

Wednesdays are always the toughest day of the working week for me. As a rule, I try to write 3000 words a day. It's an achievable target which feels like a good day's work, but isn't so demanding that it leaves me exhausted the day after. I've done 5000 words a day, but it isn't something I can sustain for a week. And I've written 10,000 words in a day - but that's not something I can recommend. 3000 is a about right, though. I can break it down into three chunks of a 1000 words - say, three sessions of one or two hours concentrated writing. It's about 10 pages of a paperback, give or take - a short chapter, or a long scene, depending on your viewpoint.

But wednesdays are a killer, because I go out in the evenings. I have to get all that work done by 6.00 pm, which wouldn't ordinarily be a problem. But by wednesday my energy levels are starting to wane, and because I'm out all evening, my only chance to eat a decent meal is at lunchtime - so that's another two hours out of the day, and - because I've just stuffed myself - I generally feel a bit sleepy in the afternoons.

It's all worth it, though. By 7.30 I'm on a horse, and within about five minutes I can pretty much guarantee that any worries I might have taken with me from the office, or that strange entity called "real life", have completely evaporated. Sitting on a horse, there's no room for anything in your head except total concentration - it's the ultimate "zone".  You're relaxed (hopefully, or the horse will feel it and start playing up) but you're also totally focused, living in the moment. It's great. I'm sure people get the same rush from any number of sports, but this is the one that always does it for me, and I hope I never have to give it up.

My horse tonight wasn't pale, though.

Posted by voxish at 10:34 PM MEST

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