Current work: revisions on Capri medical
Listening to: Chopin
Reading: Confessions of a Duchess (enjoying very, very much)
I haven’t talked much about this, but some people may have noticed that over the summer (and particularly in late Sept/early Oct) I really, really lost my mojo. There are various reasons for this (and I’m not quite ready to talk about it openly yet), but one thing I did promise myself was that I would get the joy of writing back. So. How to do this, when you have lots of deadlines and pressure and barely enough time to breathe?
I went back to basics. For the gelati book, I had a week where I couldn’t write at all, just think. (Sadly, I can’t afford to disappear off to Paris before every book. But Paris was wonderful, because I just enjoyed myself and took a few location notes for research purposes and let the book bubble in the back of my head.) And then I just went for it.
I knew I had revisions on the way, so I asked my editor (via my agent) to hold off for a couple of weeks so I could make serious inroads into the new book. And I ended up writing the whole thing very, very quickly BUT without the pressure I’ve been feeling all year. I’m probably going to pay for that with several rewrites and an ‘OMG, have you gone completely mad?’ from my editor, but the enjoyment in writing was back.
The biggest thing for me, though, was staying off the net until I’d done my daily quota. It’s amazing how much more productive I am when I don’t allow myself to get distracted.
I did however allow myself to get wildly distracted yesterday. There’s been a lightbulb flashing at the back of my head ever since July. And yesterday I decided I’d do a little playing with this particular lightbulb. (The plan was to spend half an hour playing, i.e. giving myself a little creative wriggle room, then work on the revisions. Given that I, um, didn’t stick to that, I might have to do that the other way round in future, i.e. earn my playtime.) It’s like nothing I’ve written before. I usually write in third person (dual viewpoint) and in past tense. This isn't anything like that. As I’m taking a sabbatical from the nonfic, I need something to play with to keep me balanced. I’m not sure where I’m going with it, and it might end up being something purely to amuse me and stop my writing feeling stale. But, for now, my mojo’s back. And I’m very grateful for it.