I’m actually writing two pieces concurrently at the moment. They are not related, and they don’t overlap thematically except in broad terms and themes; as noted previously, it’s hard for me to write a strictly happy story. The mystery of why remains such, and I’m not going to investigate it too much. So how does writing two things at once help me keep my drive?
I have not been the most prolific writer, since finish the first draft of my second book. In fact, I took a month off – mainly. Mostly. I took feedback and decided on edits I’d need to make, wrote a little bit of another project and typed up a short story that was previously only recorded on scraps of dog-eared paper held together by a broken staple and hope. But mostly, I didn’t write.
I am proof reading for a friend, which is fun and educational as she’s writing a Young Adult fiction piece and because she’s a woman, so brings a different outlook. The Young Adult fiction part is something I’m slowly adapting to in my feedback – the awkward boy-girl relationships, the idea of friendship being very important juxtaposed to the protagonist not having any friends/being popular, and several other facets that I would not include in my current manuscript because we have different target audiences. This is, importantly, not to say that young adults cannot enjoy non-YA fiction, nor that adults can’t enjoy young adult fiction. All it means is that the story is directed specifically at one of those groups, and as with any form of entertainment fiction must be tailored for its intended audience.
The day after I’d finished my edits to the first draft and emailing the manuscript out I found myself at a bit of a loose end. I’m off work on Annual Leave at the moment – couldn’t carry it all over so had to use some – and spent most of the morning bumming around, half-heartedly playing computer games or disinterestedly reading. I’ve also finished X-COM 2, a fantastic game (and game series) that I highly recommend, so really had nothing else to do. It was awfully unsettling after driving myself hard to read and edit my entire novel over the two weeks before.
Midnight in Hyde Park. The hour for couples to wander aimlessly, whispering sweet nothings while clutching hands beneath the sparsely placed street lights, or predators to prowl around the fringes waiting for an unsuspecting victim – but not tonight. I stood, crushed shoulder to shoulder among a crowd of hundreds, thousands. There were no fights, no arguments, no movement. We stood there, locked in place not just by each other but by the sight we had come to behold. We were one of hundreds of other groups that had gathered across the world. Tonight, six billion people from all across the world turned their gazes upward. Not towards the heavens, not towards the stars; we stared at the moon, and the crack spreading silently across its pale, eerie surface.
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written about writing hasn’t it! Have I finished my novel as a result? Sadly not, but it’s certainly on the way at forty seven thousand words. I’d like to have got more done, but March and April have been busy months for me with work so I’m slightly behind on my target. What’s really helped me stay focused and on target is a technique borrowed from one of my friends at Mightier than the Sword.
I’m sure I must have written about this before now, but I’m going to do it again. Partly because it’s important to me, partly because I can write about it, and a lot to help any budding writers, poets, artists, sculptors, musicians etc out there who get down about “not being serious about their art”.
This is a ridiculous phrase used by the insecure, the untalented and the elitist.