Writing is one of those occupations that requires a lot of hard work for, sometimes, very little output. We, as writers, strive to produce a certain number of words per day, or, sometimes, just a few words just to keep oiling the machine and keeping it in working order.
When this creative process stops we tend to call it writer’s block, or something else entirely. For me it is a point where I have lost the way, and the next chapter, scene, or plot development is not clear. Time for a shower, sleep, or a walk in the park.
Other times, the creative processes are firing on all 12 cylinders and ideas, thoughts, plot lines, and words are pouring out of you like water over a waterfall at thaw time, or in a flood.
Sorry, shouldn’t be using metaphors, bad writing.
At the moment I have finished my next novel, yes, it sounds really good, and in itself, it gives me a sense of achievement. In another sense it fills me with dread because I have to start editing, and, more importantly, make sure the first part of the book blends with the new developments that only occurred to me later.
Sometimes I go back and add notes at the appropriate place where the story needs to be corrected, or I just sit there and fix it on the spot.
But, editing is a horrible job. Making sure of continuity, making sure the characters names didn’t change, or they suddenly go from being short, overweight and red hair to thin, tall and blonde hair. Making sure the English is correct, grammar correct, spelling correct, and fore’s not confused with four’s.
And not start my sentences with and or but. Sorry, again, bad habits die hard.
I have read that it’s a good idea to let that first draft sit on the shelf for a few weeks and let the dust settle around it, ruminating on it sub-consciously. Good idea. It’s another excuse to put off the inevitable.
So, is it time to have a holiday, take time out from the business of writing, or catch up with all that social media stuff, tweeting, facebooking, tumblring, instagramming, or whatever it is. Oh yes, that’s right, as an indie author I have to do my own ‘pitching’ to the reading public.
Time to plan a campaign to get my title out there, and generate some interest.
Time in fact to hit the internet and see how others have done it.
42,647,345 hits on Google. Damn, I didn’t think there were that many writers. I’m starting to feel very, very insignificant in the greater scheme of things.
OK, that goes in the too hard basket for the moment. Moving on.
On those days when the creative juices were on overdrive, I fill notebooks with the ideas for stories, short and long. When out, waiting around for doctors, and others, I have my mobile phone which has a notebook type app called SomNote which I write. I find it is very easy to lose oneself in a story when there is so much inspiration around.
These notes are then sent via email to my computer and stored in an email directory, ready for me to look at, at a later date.
That later date has arrived.
I start looking through the ‘ideas’ list, a cavalcade of story titles,
Amnesia- the story of a man who wakes up in hospital with amnesia, and then is led to believe he is someone other than who he is. The plot needs some work, well, a lot of work.
The Will – the story of a grandson trying to stop the greedy and selfish siblings from selling out the family heritage, I’m sure I saw a British movie about this not so long ago
Mistaken Identity – The story of a man who is an illegitimate son, and has a brother who is both an evil man and his exact doppelganger. He was never told about it, and comes face to face with his doppelganger in extraordinary circumstances.
Strangers in the night – no not the song, but a story about two disparate people who have no time for anything but work and career, who have a chance encounter.
Breaking the rules – a story about a pair of cat burglars who run into each other, on separate heists in the same building. This has potential.
More than three hours have passed, I’ve been reading the stories, notes, plotlines, and staring at the ceiling looking for inspiration.
That used to come from Chester, our deceased cat, who was sometimes my friend and confidant. He’d wander into the office, climb up on the chair and sit, usually one with a printed copy of the latest manuscript.
Not any more.