Crumbs. Or, the writer as lover…

Crumbs. Where to start?

 

Really, I should have written this post about a month ago when I was in the thick of writing a children’s chapter book, but of course work and family (and illness) kept me pretty busy, and every spare moment was taken up by actually writing the book rather than blogging about writing the book.

 

But anyway… my memory’s not that bad; I can still remember that glorious feeling of being in the thick of building a literary world. As I consider myself to be more of an evening/night person I wrote for about an hour after midnight (and in spare moments during the day – such as during my kids’ weekly swimming lessons). Although I was already tired by the end of the day, I still really looked forward to my hour’s writing when I knew it would be just me, the laptop and my imaginary world. I gave myself a rough goal – to write about 500 words (a chapter) a night, and incredibly, I managed it. The book (a gift for my daughter’s 8th birthday) has been read by the said daughter (and her father who did really well with the different voices of the characters), and I’m currently processing the fact that they both enjoyed the book, although they found some bits confusing/unsatisfactory. My husband gave me more detailed feedback later on (he’s a brilliant editor) and so I’m now thinking about how to edit the book in light of their comments.

 

But it’s that wonderful feeling that I want this post to be about, not how the story is going. It’s just that it’s probably only writers who can understand that amazing feeling of being in the middle of creating a world in their head and then capturing it in words that make it onto paper (or a Word document). This feeling is akin to being in love. Or as Matt Weiner (creator of Mad Men) says of writing: It’s like having a mistress (!) It’s that wonderful feeling that catches you off-guard during the day, and makes you swell with joy. I’m writing something! I’ve got my own secret world in my head. And it’s mine, all mine! It’s the kind of feeling that makes you smile to yourself when you’re mired in chores and dealing with the everyday boring stuff like paying bills, making food, sorting out sibling arguments, loading the dishwasher, persuading my youngest to wear some shoes when leaving the house, doing the laundry etc. etc.

 

Unfortunately, I’m a little out of love at the moment — being in the no-(wo)man zone of having to decide on whether to go back and finish editing my first novel or edit my children’s chapter book or continue with the YA novel which has been sitting dormant for a while…

 

I don’t like this ‘out of love’ stage very much. And I miss my midnight hour of writing. I just don’t think that editing a whole novel will be effective when I’m already bleary-eyed. That time is fine for writing new stuff, but not really for the task of editing. And I’m pretty sure that the midnight writing hour didn’t help with warding off illness… So I’m considering shifting my body clock and getting up early to write. That’s how much I want to be ‘in love’ again!

 

Fairy cake by Marija Smits

Fairy cake by Marija Smits

Art-wise, I haven’t been able to do much. Midnight is not great for painting or drawing, but I have been able to paint a little bit alongside the kids during the day. At the moment we’re all in love with drawing/painting cakes, and so of course we’ve been busy baking, although the crumbs left behind by two messy children after actually eating the cakes drives me slightly bonkers! And there we go, we’re back to crumbs… 😉

 

Many thanks to Maddy at http://www.writingbubble.co.uk and Chrissie at http://www.muddledmanuscript.co.uk for coming up with this brilliant linky 🙂

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17 comments on “Crumbs. Or, the writer as lover…

  1. […] I’ve written before about how writing a first draft of a book is rather like falling in love, and so I wanted to expand on this. When I recently heard the word ‘limerence’ (which, in […]

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  2. Oh hun I remember this feeling well. It was amazing. I hope you can find the time for editing, I always found it easier to edit in the morning. I’m glad your hubby and daughter liked your story, it’s always nice when someone enjoys your words. Good luck with it all hun. xx

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  3. That buzz is great isn’t it? The lull between novels not so much.
    I would be starting something new in your shoes, but I’m a serial first-drafter and barely get into a second draft.
    Thank you for linking up x

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    • Marija Smits says:

      Yep, the buzz IS really great. I love starting new things too, but I *think* I’m going to finish the novel. Let’s see…

      And you’re welcome re: the linking up! X

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  4. Becky says:

    I really relate to this (all except for the writing at midnight bit, which wouldn’t work for me at all!) But the thrill of the new thing, the first draft – I’ve often felt that was like having an affair. Editing / revising / reworking is so much harder. And when there are competing projects that need work, which one to choose!?

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    • Marija Smits says:

      So glad you can relate, though of course I knew you would, what with you being such a talented writer with so many projects on the go! Really hope you find a path through the tangled jungle of which new shiny writing project to work on! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  5. Lovely post. I totally identify with the feeling you describe – and I really miss it at the moment too!! There’s something about finishing that first draft of a novel that brings great relief but also a sense of loss. Any editing/reworking will never be done in quite the same spirit of innocent abandon – though I did have some magic moments in the redrafting process. I would agree that you need your wits about you more for this next stage. Good luck with it all – I look forward to hearing more about your progress! xx

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  6. Mummy Tries says:

    I often feel that being a writer is like cheating on my family, because it gets all consuming at points so how can it not? Sounds like you’ve got too much choice and no love, so why not take a little break from it all and see which project sucks you back in first?

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  7. Nicola Young says:

    Yeah I know what you mean about that feeling and you’re right, when you’re in that zone, it’s easier to pick it up anytime anywhere, though I’m not sure I could write at midnight like you. I’m more of an early bird myself. Hope you settle on a new project soon. Love the cupcake drawing by the way.

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  8. Emily Organ says:

    I’ve always said writing is a rollercoaster and I’ve yet to be proved wrong! You definitely have your ups and downs, peaks and troughs, bursts of energy and then just exhaustion! I hope you manage to find the time to fall in love with your writing again very soon.

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  9. maddy@writingbubble says:

    Oh you’ve really made me smile! I really know that ‘in love’ feeling when it comes to writing and it really is wonderful. If only we could always be in that state even through edits and redrafts etc! I also often feel torn between different writing projects – maybe you could trying being in love with them all at once? Nothing like a bit of creative adultery to get the pulse racing! Well done for finishing your story and I’m hugely impressed at you writing after midnight – I can barely form a sentence after nine! Thanks for mentioning #whatImWriting – so happy to have you join in! xx

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    • Marija Smits says:

      So glad to have made you smile Maddy, and so glad to know that you understand that ‘in love’ feeling. 🙂 Yes, I remember from your blog that you often feel torn between projects too… My brain works best really with just the one or two writing projects on the go, so editing a novel and writing poetry is okay, but two books just won’t work! But I’ll take it at a reasonable pace and see how I go. Thanks for all your support 🙂 xx

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