Ok, so it’s been five months since I last posted, and I’ve been feeling somewhat guilty about my lack of content. I also don’t want people to think this site has gone completely dormant, so I thought I’d write a quick post to keep things up-to-date and prove that I am still active – though by activity, I mean no more than the twitching tail of a sleeping cat that lets you know it’s still alive!
You see, that’s the trouble with writing; it isn’t always the most scintillating pastime to share. This year has been particularly quiet. I haven’t undertaken any major editing projects, which has kept me busy in previous years. That always feels very productive and exciting but there has to come a time when you leave the editing alone. Then there was last year’s big project of submitting to agents. My plan had been to continue, but somehow, I never did. After a year of rejections, the futility was starting to get me down. I haven’t given up, I will get back to it, but it has been refreshing to forget about that side of things for now. At least that has given me more time for actual writing. I am still plodding on with the Young Adult novel that I started. It is on the brink of taking shape, and I am hoping that by the end of this summer holiday, I will have got a few more chapters written. I have the time, but I’m a little lacking in motivation. I keep thinking that I just need to get it to a point where the action starts hotting up, and then I won’t be able to stop. However, I’m five chapters in, and if it doesn’t feel exciting now, then how exciting will it be for readers? Really, I should just cut to the chase – forget the exposition and character development, get stuck into the drama. Alright, now I know where to start tomorrow.
Alongside this, I have been reading. I discovered an author that was new to me – Anthony Doerr, author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, which I really enjoyed. Then I took on the challenge of reading more Dickens and have just finished Little Dorrit, which was an absolute joy. I also have a pile of books by favourite authors that I have been meaning to read for ages, novels by Sebastian Barry, Kate Atkinson and Jim Crace, and some non-fiction, by Robert Macfarlane, Bill Bryson and Philip Pullman. The recent heatwave in the UK has been perfect for reading – when it’s too hot to do anything else, there is nothing better than sitting very still with a good book.
Summer holidays are always my time for reading, but I have also been trying something new this summer, writing poetry. I love poetry, even though I don’t read a lot of it. And I haven’t written it for a long time, not since the angst-ridden days of my youth! But I do still think about poetry that I would like to write. I have seen it recently described as ‘the words at the back of the mind’, and I love that, as it quite accurately matches the way I think, always looking for the perfect words to sum up a moment, or to capture a feeling with nouns, adjectives and verbs. So I decided to set myself the task of actually writing down some of this ‘thought poetry’. On our recent camping holiday, I kept a notebook close to hand, and by deliberately making the time to stop and jot down my thoughts and observations, I created a little memoir of the holiday in poetry form. It was an interesting exercise, and whatever the quality of the writing, I was pleased to have kept it up all through the week. It’s certainly not something to share yet, but I’m hoping that in a month or so, I can read it back and still feel the moment that inspired me to put pen to paper, and maybe develop those ideas and themes. If nothing else, it will be a nice record of a lovely summer holiday, and also maybe an encouragement to do it again.
So that’s where I am at. And now it’s time to stop making excuses. I need to put some thrills into Chapter 6.