Writers are a funny bunch. Half the time we think we’re chocolate: we have to, to believe we can fill up that big blank page, that we have something to say, a story to tell that we can tell better than anyone else. The other half we spend in a state of eye-poking misery, staring at the no-longer blank page full of adverbs and ‘just’ and that character we put in because nothing had happened for a few paragraphs, wondering why we ever thought we could do this. The inner critic is a necessary beast, of course – but how do we tell whether it’s biting because it should, or just because we’re having a histrionic artiste moment?
If I were a useful sort of person, here is where I would shout TA-DA! and unveil my solution in a Paul Daniels stylee. Unfortunately, I seem to be sorely lacking in Debbie McGees – because if I knew the answer, I probably wouldn’t be in the process of junking 40,000 words of book that didn’t work. And before you all go Awww or Oh no! (or even Ha, she deserves such a fate for invoking Paul Daniels) , I’m utterly delighted. Now I’m going to start writing a new flipped-about slapped-on-the-bum version of the very same idea, and I’m giddy and excited and skipping about at the prospect. And while the 40,000 words that came before made me grin every now and then, I’m not sure they ever made me skip.
So: from now on, I’m only going to write skippable things, I think. If you see me out and about with both feet firmly on the ground, tell me to take a few days off from the manuscript. That way, I might notice when it’s not working a bit quicker.
The book formerly known around these parts as Project Poppy shall henceforth be known as Project Bluebell. I hope it will make you skip too. 😀
Since I’ve been so hopeless about updating lately, I’ve read lots of things and can’t remember what any of them are. I think this means I didn’t like them very much, so that’s probably ideal. Oh, and I read one fantastic book which made me sob repeatedly on a train (WHY am I always on a train with the weepifying ones?) but it isn’t out till January, so I will wibble about it then when you can actually get your mitts on it. (Then cry. On a train.) I am planning the annual bookapalooza known as ‘Going On Holiday’ soon, though, and after happily paddling in kidlit and YA for months I’ll be dipping a toe in the grown-up pool. Planned reading list: The Summer Book, Tove Jansson; One Day by David Nicholls (who for ages I thought was David Mitchell: stop having Ls in your names, people called David); and some Borges short stories. That should keep my tent contented.
Completely unrelated to the above, I’m whizzing my way towards the end of a first draft of Super Sekrit Project #93, aka, um… hang on, it’s so secret I haven’t given it a secret name…er… The Jovial Adventures of Some Herring. (It’s not about herring. Although now I sort of wish it was. Herring herring herring.) This one is making me skip rather a lot.
Playing tour guide (ie taking lovely visiting people to the Pitt-Rivers and then out for French Onion soup); watching a very wet, very wonderful Midsummer Night’s Dream in my old office, aka the Bodleian Quad; breaking my laptop; getting pathetically overexcited about my impending holiday – Canada, bears, possible airport strikes, oh my!