1,250

by dpreyde

So I’m writing a book. It’s about how to survive high school with Asperger’s, and it’s going pretty well. I decided a few months ago to try and write 1,250 words of the book every week, which will amount to approximately five pages once the book is published (most books, printed and bound, have an average word count of 250 words per page).

Some weeks I blow past the 1,250 quota, and some weeks I barely meet it. Some weeks I miss it entirely.

It’s easy to get distracted, or caught up with other things. Usually I can procrastinate for one or two days, then use another day or two to work on a blog post, and still manage to meet the quota. But that requires a full week, Monday to Friday.

This week, I don’t have a full week.

I’m writing this on Wednesday, April 1st, and tomorrow I’m going to my parents’ place for Easter. I’ll be staying there until Saturday. It’s difficult for me to work in Oshawa, because there’s too much stuff going on. When I work in Toronto, I work in an empty apartment. There’s nothing to distract me except my Internet connection, which is more than enough.

It’s only noon, for instance, and today I’ve skimmed David Bowie’s discography on Wikipedia, and watched half an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

If I get distracted by actual people on top of that, I’m fucked.

So after today I won’t get any more writing done until next Tuesday. That’s why I’m writing this blog entry now; it’s due to be posted next Monday.

I don’t think I’m going to get my 1,250 words written this week. I’m trying to write a chapter about drugs, and I didn’t do drugs when I was a teenager. I’ve never done drugs. What the hell am I doing giving advice to teenagers about drugs? I mean, my God. I’d have to go to school for four years to be a life coach, but I can sit down and publish a book with no qualifications other than the fact I’m retarded.

I’m grateful for that, because otherwise I’d be on the street selling pencils along with the rest of the bib and sweatpants crowd.

Sometimes when I’m stuck writing something I don’t know anything about, I ask someone for help. I’m fortunate in that I know a lot of qualified people. Most of my family is in the mental health field. My sister’s the one I chose to ask for help today. She works for a rape crisis centre, and does a lot of public education work. I think she talks to teenagers sometimes, so I sent her a message on Facebook asking about the principles of harm reduction.

We’ll see what she says.

In the meantime, I’m writing this blog entry and registering the fact that it’s just past noon and I’m starting to feel a little dizzy. I should probably get something to eat. There’s yogurt in the fridge that’s going to expire tomorrow, but I’d really rather eat an entire pepperoni pizza.

I also borrowed the Disney movie Bolt a few days ago, and I have to watch it and return it later today, because I won’t have time to do that tomorrow. I’ve been on a bit of a Disney kick lately; I guess it’s a new special interest.

While I’m in Oshawa, I anticipate watching a lot of M*A*S*H, which is another special interest.

I’m also in the middle of reading an excellent book about The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

These are the things I do instead of writing 1,250 words a week for my book.

I’m making progress in other areas though. Writing this blog entry, for instance, means I won’t have to even think about the blog until next Thursday (Friday, at the latest). In the next few days I’m going to submit a play for an event that a local theatre is holding. I have two plays I’ve written, both of them good, both of them perhaps unpalatably dark. I’m not sure if either will be accepted.

One of the plays is a bleak satire about the healthcare profession which concludes (spoiler alert) with the body of an elderly woman getting tossed in a dumpster. The other play is called Two Hours of Rape Jokes, and ends (spoiler alert) with a guy getting shot in the head by his girlfriend.

I have until Friday to decide which of the two plays I’ll submit.

I’ve also written a short (very short) article for a local zine. The zine focuses on problematizing veganism and vegetarianism through the lens of disability. A very narrow focus, but one I find interesting. I’m going to submit my article at some point in the next few days- I forget when it’s due, I need to double check that- and we’ll see what happens. At any rate, I’ll expand the article at some point and post it on here.

I do all this, and my book remains partially unwritten. 1,250 words a week. Most weeks I manage, some weeks I don’t. I’m writing a lot, but most of it doesn’t count toward the quota.

Lennon said that life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans. I hope he was right. In addition to the writing, I’m seeing Hannah almost every night. We go swimming twice a week. We’re seeing her family the weekend after next. Later this month, she and I go to Boston.

I’ll be writing about Boston, too. I won’t be making the quota that week, but I’ll be having a hell of a lot of fun.

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