Look, a whole year has passed since my last post. And while I’m sorry about that I’m also not. A lot happened and I moved forward and some things just had to go into the too-hard-basket.
But it is that March public holiday again and I’m still in front of the computer working and I’m still learning. Same, same. Perhaps.
I have started a new job (kinda an understatement for what my last four months have been like) and went to Sydney for the HNSA Conference (a wonderful trip that pulled me right out of my life for a few days and made me again feel it was worth committing to this ridiculous endeavour).
I now have an as-finished-as-I-can-make-it novel manuscript. It has been read as a novel by a reader who loved it and part of me just wants to curl into that little bit of knowledge and be done with this whole writing thing. What a joy it is to feel that something that took FIVE YEARS to create was read and loved by someone else. Now, perhaps, I do believe writers who say that it is the connection with readers they love the most. That novel is now in the process of being tentatively sent out into the world and though this is causing me not a small amount of angst, I’m trying not to spend too much time thinking about it.
I have another novel to write.
And, OMG. My memory of the first one was that I wrote the bulk of it in one mad two-month rush (and my Scrivener stats support this) and then re-wrote it in one crazy three-month slog (and then procrastinated writing the ending for six months) and then edited it during a painful one-month over summer.
But as I start this new one I am now remembering the years of thoughts, ideas, pre-writing, thrown away drafts, distracting side-projects that went nowhere and general gathering of BITS that came together to allow those bursts of productivity.
Initially I thought ‘oh, I’ll just sit down and force myself to write 1000 words a day like before’. Yeah, no. Not unless you damn well know what those 1000 words are going to be about. You haven’t even worked out a name for most of the characters. Key facts that the whole story hang upon are not clear. Some hint of character development might also be required. See, before I set out on that mad three-month writing binge I had a fully plotted plan. It was terrible. It wasn’t at all what ended up happening. But it was a roadmap.
So, I’m impatiently back to that map-making again. I want to be writing, really. But I think if I learned one thing from that first novel it is that if I just write blindly I get literally, figuratively and comprehensively NOWHERE. I must have a plan and to make a plan I must spend time thinking. Or at least this is the assumption I am currently working on.
And now, just like I had to convince myself that in order to get the other book written I needed to ‘just bloody write it‘, I have to also convince myself that I also need to do all that important pre-work. Including reading and research. Okay, I enjoy both those things, just not as much as writing.
I guess the message is the same: just get it done. Going to read.