It’s been a hectic couple of months, which goes some way to explaining my silence in the blogosphere. I can’t complain – I love having this much work in, and I’ve been editing some really good books lately – but, as I’ve bemoaned to Jon numerous times, why couldn’t I have had this much work in when I actually had time to do it? And, with this much editing, when am I going to have a chance to do my own writing?
I worked every hour available, apart from a couple of days off at Christmas, right up until new year. And then we went to Lanzarote for ten days. The sudden break was much needed, and the perfect opportunity to unwind. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get some writing done, too, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. My brain was in the wrong place and so I read instead. I read a whole book. Which – apart from for work – I haven’t done so quickly for longer than I care to remember.
And now we’re home, and this is the strange part: I don’t have any work lined up until the end of the month, and Jon is off for another month yet, so he’s Chief in Charge of Childcare, which means I have acres and acres of time to write. Just what I have been craving. And I’ve made a start (it is only day two, after all), but it feels strange. Almost frightening. It is a lot of time – a luxurious amount of time compared to what I’ve had lately – but I also know that it’s still not going to be enough. Not to do everything I want to do.
Writing is a slow, slow process. We rush around in our normal lives, and we can achieve so much in so little time – send emails, make calls, have meetings, read books, write reports – but writing, if it is to be good writing, writing of any literary merit, takes longer. It needs to be considered. It needs to be mulled over, read back and fiddled with, read again and – but wait! If that bit’s changed in that subtle way then the later bit which refers to it needs to change too, and that character wouldn’t know that that happened if the earlier scene has been shifted, etc, etc, as if the whole thing is coming unravelled like a piece of knitting with a dropped stitch.
And that’s the point at which I find myself with my novel. In a word, it’s messy. But it must be done, so I’d better get on with it.