Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Prevarication's what you need

Not written for a little while and I think the main reason is how easily I am distracted from the business in hand, even when that business is writing. When I don't have enough hours for writing, which is most of the time, I crave the opportunity to sit down in front of the keyboard and get going. So often, I start a day with good intentions and reach the end of it having achieved very little. Frankly there are simply not enough hours in a day. There would be enough if I didn't have to sleep!
At those times, usually in the middle of a book, if I can steal an hour at the weekend or when every one else is tucked up in their bed, then I am a happy man. When I'm really on a roll it isn't unheard of to get 1,000-1,500 words done in a day, maybe more if I can squeeze two sessions at the computer into the same 24 hour period. That's how you write a book, by getting a momentum going and keeping it up every day, revisiting your words and characters on such a regular basis that they become almost second nature and every time you sit down to work, the words just flow. Then there is the editing process that immediately follows. By the time you have written your book, read your book, edited your book then re-written it over and over again, time after time, it has become something you have lived with for months and sometimes years. The first book I wrote took me three-and-a-half years, including a stack of research, and it still didn't find a publisher but it did get me a literary agent, which is a massive step forward.

I then wrote two 60,000 word books, under a pseudonym, for a publisher who gave me an idea, some characters and a synopsis then asked me to deliver both novels in just five months. Somehow I did it but I really don't know how. There were a lot of sleepless nights and crazy 3,500 words-in-one-sitting stints at the weekends that got me across the line but not without two bad attacks of sinusitis along the way; one at the end of each book. I never go to the Docs. I'm a bloke after all, but I had to go and get some pills to get rid of the blinding headaches, so I could start work again. Was it caused by trying to write two books in less than half a year I asked the doctor? Yep, apparently it was.

Then I wrote 'The Drop' and the first draft took just six months. The 90,000 words just seemed to flow. They were duly edited again and again until I was happy with every single one of them.

And now the book is done, the final draft has been submitted to 'No Exit' for a proof. In fact it has been there for a couple of weeks now. I gave myself a few days off as a reward and fully expected to get straight back into it; starting my next book or at least blogging away to spread the word about 'The Drop'. But no, I've not written a word in three weeks until now, unless you count Facebook, which I don't. I've gone from a 1,000 word a day average to zilch, nicks, nada, nowt. Even the 140 words maximum of a tweet on Twitter seems too much like hard work at the moment and I can't explain it. Actually I figured I should try, in this blog, and, in doing so maybe force myself to get going again.

So here it is, I think when you work so hard and so long on something and it's finally over…..you just crash. Your body, your brain, your imagination, just says 'stop, I need a break' and looks for a million and one reasons to avoid starting the writing process again; playing with your kids, watching something mindless on TV, cutting the grass, washing the pots, going for a run, anything but actually getting back to doing what you have always wanted to do…….write.

It's a funny old world…..and it has taken me an arduous 700 words to explain it. I think I need to go and have a lie-down now.....  

No comments:

Post a Comment