A Slightly Overdue Progress Update

A Slightly Overdue Progress Update

So, as I’m sure you remember from my last post — what’s that? You don’t remember my last post? Well — it was a while ago. You should probably go read that first and then come back:

“Always Working On The Wrong Thing: Guilt, Fear & Procrastination”

So, as I’m sure you remember from my last post, I’d been struggling with the fact that I haven’t been getting any real writing done, and that I was stuck choosing between projects — putting aside the amateur Doctor Who fan film script I wanted to finish, my two courses of action I was trying to decide between were a.) finishing the new original novel I currently have in progress, or b.) writing a sequel to Still Life so I’d have better start on having a series of books to promote.

Well, shortly after writing that post about the trouble I was having making that decision, the obvious answer just popped effortlessly into my head, complete and inarguable:

I was sad about not having a new book published to promote last year at Halloween. It would therefore be awfully nice to have a new book published to promote this year at Halloween. I can obviously finish the existing novel faster than I could write a whole new one from scratch. So, obviously, I needed to finish the existing novel. QED.

I was so relieved to have resolved this that I felt so much more relaxed, lighter, happier.

So naturally, I immediately sat down and finished the Doctor Who fan film script.

Look — I don’t claim to understand this brain, I just have to live in it.

The script is great, I couldn’t be happier with it. I think it’s going to be a fun, exciting project, and I think the end result is going to be great — I honestly think I’ve managed to come up with a story that feels suitably epic and yet well within my means to pull off. Not sure yet when I will be able to start actual production in earnest — I really should probably get myself a day job first — but I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Writing that script was about as effortless as writing gets, for me. So much of it already existed in my head — I’d been mulling over the scenes and dialog for years, so they spilled out onto the page like so many smooth and polished river stones. It’s still just a first draft, and there are a few tweaks I need to make here and there, but it’s a hell of a first draft.

Has that experience managed to put me back in the habit of writing? Yeeeeaahh, not so much, unfortunately. I still haven’t managed to pull off any “real” writing projects. (Any writing I can’t turn around and sell isn’t Real Art, you understand. At least, that’s what Capitalism tells me, and try as I might, I haven’t been able to unlearn that idea. So despite the fact that the script took just as much brain sweat, talent and craft as any other bit of writing I could work on, I still feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. But anyway.)

Recently, my friend and editor Elisabeth Knottingham approached me because she is also trying to get back into the writing saddle. You know, the one that goes on the …. writing …. horse. Look, it’s a metaphor, all right? I’d be able to pull one off with a lot more confidence if I’d been writing regularly. So anyway, she proposed that we come up with a word target and a weekly deadline for both of us to try to hit, and to hold each other mutually accountable. It’s not a bad idea. We both completely failed to produce anything last week, but we’re trying again now. We’ll see if we manage.

And since she asked me — half-jokingly, I’m pretty sure — if she could count her contribution to a long Facebook thread toward her word count, I’m declaring it now — I am totally claiming this post toward my word count. All 700 words of it.

Now to get back to work on that novel. Or maybe — well, Elisabeth thinks I should ease myself back to work with some short stories. So there’s another decision to over-analyze. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Photo by Sean MacEntee