I’m finding it a real struggle getting through this round of edits on my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel, which has already had more than six different working titles. For some reason I’ve convinced myself that I really need to see ‘Volcano Watch’ on television every night this week – oh, what a coincidence, it is shown right in the middle of what I like to think of as my writing time. I don’t think I would have developed this sudden volcano obsession unless I knew it would prevent me from having to move chunks of text around in my ‘Song of Vanora’/’Place of Conflict’/’Scottish Fantasy’/’Guardians of the Magic Stone’ etc etc etc file, a task which is now starting to appear as impossible as de-cluttering the house, rearranging all the furniture and then hacking down the rain-forest that used to be my garden.
Of course it doesn’t help that this is a busy time of year for my theatre group as we prepare for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (two excellent shows this year including our award-winning production of ‘Sparkleshark’), or that we managed to get out for our long-postponed family graduation celebration meal last night. That kind of thing, although pleasant and in some ways essential if I’m to avoid becoming even more of an anti-social hermit than I am already, also cuts into my writing time. When I describe myself as an anti-social hermit, by the way, that isn’t so much the current reality as a long-term aspiration of mine. Someone who goes to work every weekday and shares an office, not to mention spending far too much time in random pointless meetings, can’t be anti-social even if they try really hard – yes, I have occasionally resorted to headphones and an mp3 player to shut myself off from human contact, and I almost never answer my phone, but it’s hard to ignore people who actually come into the office and stand over you waiting for an answer.
I know perfectly well that the novel won’t edit itself, otherwise it would also have published itself on Amazon and received 43 negative reviews by now; instead it has been sitting on the hard disc of each computer I’ve used and discarded since I wrote the first draft. The only thing that will get it into publishable form is for me to sit down and make the changes I’ve worked out I need to make this time, format a copy for Lulu and order a printed version, carry out a line-edit on the printed version and mark it all up with sticky notes, make changes, repeat as necessary… but I’m getting ahead of myself, which is always a recipe for inertia. The only thing that will move it towards publication is for me to sit down for an hour or so every day until it’s done, without even thinking about the next stage.
No more excuses. [should I make this my new motto instead of ‘I told you so’? or is my mind playing tricks even by making me think about this?]