I went back to Chapter 17 today. That's Chapter 17, as in Chapter 17 of my novel draft that was supposed to be finished by now.
So work got in the way for a few months. Fatigue did, too. When you're giving 60+ hours a week to your job (including the commute) and running 20+ miles a week (all after 8:00 at night) and practicing piano instead of eating lunch, fatigue can take its toll.
Yesterday (Saturday) was a full day at work. I slept until 10:00 this morning. Tomorrow I work from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
My goals for today were to run nine miles, practice piano, and do some much-needed housework.
I haven't done any of those yet. Instead I sat down at my writing desk and scribbled out several pages of journaling. Then I fired up my laptop and re-read Chapters 14, 15, and 16 of my novel draft and thought, "Wow. This is really pretty good. What happens next?"
So then I read my abandoned, half-written Chapter 17. Up until about page four I was grinning, thinking, "Not only is this pretty good, but this is funny as heck!" Then I got to a paragraph that didn't seem to fit right. Kind of like someone (some misguided writer) set up a dam in the flow and forced the story to take an unwarranted detour.
"No. This isn't right. I need to work on this."
But I kept reading. The half-written draft ended at page 12.
I made notes on the bad detour, then I made notes on what was happening on page 12, and then I ... get this ... wrote a half-page.
That half-page took me about an hour, and I feel more exhausted than if I'd just put in a 10-hour day at work. Writing is hard work.
But I also feel exhilirated. Funny how things are just different when I do the things I know I'm designed to do.