Well, dear friends, it’s been a long time between posts but I now have something worth writing about. Today is the official start day for writing my next book. Lift off!
So why start today? I confess, that over the past 18 months I’ve been deploying Olympic level procrastination skills to defer the moment when I actaully have to sit down and write this story. Too busy studying. Too busy working. Too much happening in my world. Too terrified to take the leap. Now, all excuses (apart from the terror) have been eliminated. Uni’s finished, I’m on an haitus from work, and tonight HWB (He Who Believes, AKA my husband Martin) jets off for Malta. Ahead of me I have three full months of uninterrupted, solo time to get down to business. If not now, then there is simply no when.
This book has been percolating in my mind for quite a while and it’s time that I downloaded it from my mind to the page. I’m going to follow the successful process I deployed in Carcassonne with Under New Management, which means that between now and the end of June I’m going to write like a mad thing and blurt out a first draft. Aiming for a total of about 80,000 words, that’s sixty days (Monday to Friday, with weekends off) at a rate of about 1500 words a day.
This blog – right here, right now – is my accountability mechanism. Since I’ve now stated this intent publicly I will simply have to deliver!
Unlike my French odyssey, however, I won’t be providing a blow by blow description of the authorial process, nor will I be revealling much about the story. One thing I learnt from my last endeavour, and from my forray into the Masters of Creative Writing, is that writing is truly a solo pursuit and I this time around I want to keep the content to myself until it’s in a fully completed first draft form.
I will say that I’m taking the leap to a new genre. While Under New Management was uplit/romcom/women’s fiction, this new book will be historical fiction, set in Malta in 1795. It’s working title is The Corsair, the heroine’s name is Valentina Graziella Bonici and it’s all about love. Enough said.
Some things will remain the same. I have dusted off my writing totems and readied my desk for action. While the outlook from my home desk is green, serene and lovely, I have to say I will miss the uplift I got from that incredible Carcassonne window with the view over the medieval castle. That said, I’m sure that spotted gums, king parrots and passing echindas will do just as well.
I’m getting reconnected to my patron deity Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing, and casting stern looks at my old frenemy the Inner Critic. When my IC tries to derail my flow with nit-picking, self-doubt and unhelpful perfectionism I just have to look at his snarly little face, give him a good stern talking to, and get on with the job.
Elizabeth Gilbert says in her inspo-laden guide to creativity, Big Magic, that the universe conspires with creative energy, sending you what you need to hear/see/learn in order to get your generative genius to take action. As my resolve to begin this book has ripened, I’ve been bombarded by helfpul promts and pokings from multiple directions. This one landed in my feed on Saturday morning:
Yep. There’s no getting around the fact that if you want to write a book you actaully have to start.
Yesterday, another little gem gave me a jolt. It’s a message that would not be welcomed by my Inner Critic but it makes absolute sense. This book, whatever it may come to be, can’t be anything at all unless I bring it into the world – flawed and perfectly imperfect as it may be.
And then this morning, this little gem appeared.
So, taking a big breath, I’ll be toddling off to get some writing done …