Thursday, June 08, 2006

Eleven Minute Thursdays: Umbrellaless Man

I have an extra minute today, so I can churn out an extra sentence or two.

Last night while walking home in the rain, my umbrella broke and I walked a few blocks without any cover. It had been raining harder all day long and I didn't mind because it could have been worse. I enjoy the smell of the rain in New York City. There's nothing like it.

When I woke up early on Wednesday, I was greeted by big droplets of rain falling on the air conditioner that made large "ping" sounds. And the rain never stopped. It poured for a couple of hours in the morning, but then let up to a steady drizzle followed for several hours in the afternoon which washed out the Yankees and Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium.

Because of the rain, I spent all of yesterday indoors listening to music and getting high, and I had one of my most productive stints as a writer. I cranked out well over 10K words in about nine or ten hours and that's with taking an hour or so to eat and read email. Starting around 7:30am, I wrote for my standard two hour work out where I rambled on for a few thousand words. I took a brief smoke break and kept on plugging away. My first freelance writing assignment of the day was to discuss the upcoming 2006 World Series of Poker in an article which I'll post over at in a few days. The first draft clocked in around 2,500 words.

I took a meal break and walked over to the bagel store. Then I sat down to write Part V of my series Born to Gamble which was around 6,500 words or so. I cut it down to 4,500. I've been enjoying writing that series over at the Tao of Poker. Those words flow right out of me and I don't have to struggle to form those sentences. My biggest problem is editing it down into edible nuggets. Every sentence packs a punch because every sentence could be its very own paragraph or series of paragraphs. I wrote something like, "Senor and I ate mushroom in Laramie, Wyoming," and then ended it right there. That particular afternoon adventure could be an entire book! But I had to limit the events to a single sentence. That's why I think the series has been successful. Every paragraph has conflict, drama, and action and there are very few sentences that act as fluff or filler.

When I looked up, it was 5pm and I figured out that I cranked out around 10K words, probably more. I can't ever recall writing this much aside from when I was working on a specific book. And even then, I never cranked out 10K by 5pm. I've had a few days when I was working on the Las Vegas book when I did that much by 10pm or Midnight, but never by the time most people leave work to come home.

I had one of the most productive writing days of my life and because of that, I felt great the rest of the night. Very rarely am I able to enjoy "the fruits of my labor" and sit back and relax. Most of the time I'm worrying and re-writing and editing everything. But last night was one of those rare nights when I felt as though I could take the night off and not pressuring myself about staying up a few extra hours to catch up on work. Sure, I'm still behind on a lot of things... but after a day like Wednesday I fell asleep feeling positive about the work I did. Most people don't even wrote 5K words in their lifetime.

My reward... I didn't set my alarm last night and let myself sleep until it was time to wake up. I got about six hours of decent sleep. I only woke up once in the middle of the night. My big writing binge allowed me to sleep peacefully.

I wrote articles in the June (current) issues of Poker Pro Magazine, Bluff, and Poker Player Newspaper. You can pick up Bluff and Poker Pro at bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders. Poker Player Newspaper appears in most card rooms and poker rooms in casinos.

Here's a few freelance articles of mine that have been published in print/online:
2006 WSOP Preview: The $10 Million Man (or Woman) (Las Vegas & Poker Blog)
Longshot wins $3.7 Million WPT Championship (Poker Pro Magazine)
Poker Stars: 5 Million and Counting (Poker Player Newspaper)
Online Poker: Avoiding Distractions (Poker Player Newspaper)
Pauly's Picks: Las Vegas Poker (Las Vegas & Poker Blog)
And here's the Born to Gamble series that appears on the Tao of Poker:
Born to Gamble Part I: Where It All Begins
Born to Gamble Part II: Southbound
Born to Gamble Part III: Midnight Rider
Born to Gamble Part IV: Ramblin' Man
One week from today is when Bonnaroo starts! And I couldn't be more excited. It won't sink in until I officially get there. I leave for Tennessee on Monday, which means I have four days to finish up a few freelance assignments, otherwise I'm fucked.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Jerry Garcia Band
2. Pink Floyd
3. George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
4. My Morning Jacket
5. The Meters

No comments:

Post a Comment