My new novel is not going well. It doesn't help that I haven't yet established any kind of routine. So far, all I've had is weekends and, apart from the first weekend when I felt elated just to get started, they have not proved particularly fruitful. I've taken a week off work this week to try and get started but even that has been thwarted - it's the first day back at school after half term and my daughter has decided to feel ill and stay at home. Call me selfish, call me what you like, but sometimes as an adult you just want a bit of Me Time - I get VERY little and I was SO looking forward to some time when I just don't have to talk to anyone. Not talking to anyone is quite conducive to the creative process, I've found, but of course, it's virtually impossible. Secondly, the hammering and drilling in the flat downstairs is ongoing. It's very possible they will never end. And reading what I've written so far......I'm starting to feel a smidgen of despair. It really is very bad. Sometimes I wish that instead of a writer, I was a truck driver. Not much need to talk to anyone then, either.
It's been a rough week. It started with my hurting my back on Monday and suffering through days of pain. By Thursday I had developed a bad cold too, so awful by Friday that I had to find courage from somewhere to ask whether I could go home from work a little early. It's been half term too and I've managed to do none of the things planned. My novel seemed to slide away into some unreachable place and when I sat down this morning, it was with no confidence. But Chapter Two has begun and I've got down about 1000 words - I'm not a word counter but some people are. It does give an indication of how it's going. SLOW, I'd say! But slow and sticky and unsure is better than nothing at all. Nothing that is written is in stone so it can all be edited into something smooth and excellent.....but later, when I've got a feel for it. One thing about having written and completed many novels is the confidence that I can do it again. I just wouldn't like to put a deadline on it.
For the third time, I've reached the same place in the same chapter. It's been a slow, sticky start but I haven't been at all concerned. Every hour spent writing is so rare that it's precious. It doesn't matter what I get done, as long as I'm there, in the woods, with the trees. I really need to change my schedule at work. After half term (not expecting to get any writing done other than the weekends), I've taken a week off work and will hopefully be able to feel my way more deeply into the story. But a lot depends on the building works going on in a neighbouring flat which has been driving me insane with endless drilling and hammering, let alone the dust clouds all this produces that floats up the stairs and coats everything, even the walls. All going well, I'll change my work shift to afternoons and so have the mornings free to write. An afternoon shift in the main library is not ideal - it's far too busy to do my work properly but some sacrifices need to be made. I should get a new section soon and if it's in the IOA, an afternoon shift will be ideal.
A really lumbering start. I've rewritten the prologue several times and it's still like curdled custard. However, I'm not concerned as it's VERY early days yet. I haven't found the novel's voice and hardly know my main character. All this takes time and I'm trying not to be impatient. It's also quite hard to work with building works going on in a flat downstairs and my flat is very cold, even with the heating on. These and other obstacles are just there for me to crawl over, though, because even if it's only a tiny bit at a time, a few lines will eventually turn into a novel, bloodied fingernails notwithstanding...
Have decided I need a prologue. Dreamy page and a half becomes prologue, rewritten, faux fantasy style caps dropped but dreaminess retained. Chapter One starting to take shape - mentally, at least. Take energetic caffeinated walk around Russell Square (several times) for an hour. Suddenly very warm - sun hot - what happened to the big freeze on Saturday when I was writing wrapped in a blanket?
I live in Bloomsbury.
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