Despite the fact there's been no writing for weeks (again) I have been thinking a lot about my novel. Every so often I read over the last few chapters written and feel a swell of happiness when I realise that I actually still like most of it. There are of course frequent awkward sections to address in an editing pass, but I'm feeling as though I won't actually have to do another rewrite (as in start from blank 'sheet of paper'). It won't be finished by the end of the year (ROFL) but at least when I complete this draft, it will be complete, more or less.
You'd think this surge of satisfaction would be enough to have me sweeping everything non-novel related off my figurative plate with emphatic (yet also figurative) hand . . . but no. Still I am confronted by my TO DO list. This evening, for instance, I have spent a couple of hours first researching a certain Australian fantasy author, and then compiling a list of questions for her to answer via email, for the purpose of my Aussiecon 4 comms brainchild -- a newsletter targeted at 'newbies' who mistakenly think science fiction conventions are for nerds.
But even this process has re-inspired me; for this particular author, when still unpublished, attended a writing workshop with Tracey and I back in 1999. Now I look at her web site with her 7 published novels and 7 figure deals and think wistfully, 'if only'. Perhaps I would be forgiven if this evening's exercise had the reverse effect on my motivation levels, for 7 novels (with another 3 on the way) is a much better return after 10 years than ZERO . . . but surprisingly, it doesn't. I feel determined, a little energised, although still sadly time poor.
And then there are the recent inspirational efforts of my writing coven. Tracey, who achieved the 50,000 NaNoWriMo words last month. And Lisa, who subbed a short story today. We pledged about a month ago to report words at the end of each week . . . (more ROFL). And Foz, revelling in the UK on what could only be termed (for her) a writing sabatical, churning out nearly 30,000 words of a new novel in about three days! Maybe that should daunt me as well, because that's about 10 times faster than I can write on a good day, but once again, no, it rings sirens in my head that warn me to reprioritise and SOON.
For a writer doth write -- no? Not this writer, at present, unless you count the occasional blog post and work story (which I don't). This writer needs to clear some more of the TO DO list, and not let any more back onto it until some words have been churned out!
But I do feel encouraged by the fact that the buzz is still there at the back of my brain -- it's a hum that tells me when the time is right, when the way becomes clear, I will be able to launch into it. It's a much better place than where I was a few months ago, when I couldn't even remember what was happening in the story . . . (sorry, what did you say his name was?). In another week, I'll be on holiday, and although we all know it's a crazy time of year, I like to think that I'll be able to commit to writing something just about every day.