Turns out "getting back to work" meant writing only another 5,000 words -- I thought I was getting over my cold, but it got worse, and last week was a near total loss. Once again I am getting better, and hopefully this time I really am getting over the cold. I think so. I look forward to getting back in the saddle and blazing the trail again!
Luckily, I did make a clear mental note of where I was in the writing, and I kept the story in mind. I should be able to get right back into it without significant delay. I will reread what I have already written, just a quick breeze through it to remind me of the story details thus far. Otherwise, I know the turning point I was at and can pick up again from there.
I'm constantly mulling over ideas from my recent postings and from the thoughtful comments others have graciously shared. As I resume writing, I'll be thinking about the story, about the need to be concise, and the need to allow myself freedom to explore in this first draft. I'll try to explore concisely.
Including today there are 11 days left in February, enough time to finish this draft if I get back to work in the proper mode.
There should be a checklist for writers who are rolling up their shirt sleeves and getting to work on a first draft, the way astronauts have before taking off in a space shuttle....
CREATIVITY...ON. INSPIRATION...ON. OUTLINE IN PLACE...CHECK. INTERNAL EDITOR...OFF (AND HIDE THE KEY!). FREEDOM TO EXPLORE...CHECK. META-LEVEL THINKING...OFF. NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE...CHECK. READY...SET...LIFT-OFF!!!