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!
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… 😉