Having set myself a mission of writing and publishing something by the end of the year; I am trying. I am really trying!
I have learned lessons from last year, having written and published #plantpottales. I enjoyed it immensely and I am very proud of having written and published a book that I feel really passionately about. #Plantpottales is really special to me, I enjoyed writing it and I feel it is of value to other people. That was one driving factor in writing it, as well as wanting to share all of my experiences so that others could benefit from them. The process at the time was exciting. I remember a number of times where writing was frenzied, I just had to write things down and get them into the book. I cannot really describe the buoyancy that came in setting my mind on the task and actually feeling inspired. Feeling inspired was pretty encouraging, and actually gave me a lot of confidence to get the job done. To stay focused and put effort into the project.
#Plantpottales was of course non-fiction, and something that reflected my own personal experiences. And now I am considering fiction. This somewhat perturbs me. Whilst I have been part of a Star Trek fan fiction sim and for a while, this is different. I would be writing something by myself and it won’t have anything to do with Star Trek! (I don’t think I ever written about gardening in the sim, actually….) I have found myself asking questions about how exactly I am supposed to do this. Searching questions as to what is it that makes a book readable, what are the technical things that I need to consider in terms of plot devices and how to write dialogue. I might, of course, be thinking about things a bit too much. When all I should be doing is sitting down and just writing what might find itself arriving into my head. These things are important, and I am by no means glossing over them. My attention will be given to them in due course.
Reflection has happened, and whilst I was thinking about what type of writer I am. I may have got a little hung up, on thinking that I have to plan, and in detail. I don’t particularly like planning to the n’th degree. I would much rather have a daydream of a sort, hold onto that and put pen to paper. Pretty much what has been described as writing ‘by the seat of your pants’. I can see the logic in that; that feels like the way I write at the moment. That is the way I am going to keep it. I enjoy it, the experience of having a daydream that feels like a story waiting to happen inspires and encourages me to keep writing. I do like to write with a pen and paper too. I can’t edit and go back to text as you might with a PC or a lap top, but I like it. It’s the experience of seeing something you have imagined in your mind, take form on a page in ink. Though trying to read my writing when I go to type does make for a challenge. The ideas are easier to execute with a pen, paper, and with post-its that I can stick in when I have an idea.
Once #plantpottales was done and dusted, there was a physical and psychological drain and it left a wound. I wasn’t inspired, and I found it very hard to imagine things. Images and ideas would form, only to go zing and poof; disappear without cogency. I couldn’t feel ideas form that I wanted to believe in and share. I wanted to, I wanted to write again. Only when your body and brain are telling you ‘no’ it is probably a good idea to just wait. And I did wait for a bit, even though it has been rather frustrating. I had a couple of ideas that attempted to materialise, the one idea I wrote the opening salvos of and then left aside until Christmas.
The plan was to write two things simultaneously over the course of the year. It still is, actually; with one project under way and the second not yet presenting itself in an inspired way. Both are still in the infancy, so I won’t at this stage give away details. Only that one could/might still be gardening orientated, and that the second is not really that cute, fluffy, all smiles and whistles. The second has my attention for now; there are ideas and half a plan. I know, I said that I don’t like to plan. I didn’t actually formulate the plan; the plan came together by itself. Came together from having written a list of scenes to right, and presented me the opportunity to plot them onto a timeline. I sat there, and I looked at it. Realised that I had now a plan of what I wanted to write. That I write in stages; that like Lego blocks would come together in some sort of structure. It has taken time to get this far. Time to consider things carefully. More so than last year with #plantpottales. I can’t help but feel that there is a reason for that; and part of the learning and development process. The two projects are different and the first of the two is at this stage best described as an engine that has stalled and may even have slightly dodgy spark plugs. I cannot seem to piece any ideas together that might actually work.
What I don’t like is word counts and deadlines. In terms of word counts, the prospect of writing 80, 000 words terrifies me. That is a lot of words. #Plantpottales was a fraction of that at 25, 000. So I do see that as a Psychological barrier of a sort. Then I think about how quickly I did actually amass those words, and how when writing the blog, I don’t necessarily reflect on how many words a post might be. Knowing the word count for #plantpottales is something of a yardstick for how many words I need to write over the coming year. Deadlines. An end point is always useful, to start a journey and then plot your course towards the end. I did give myself a deadline for #plantpottales and ended up publishing well before. This time, I want to use time more effectively. I want to make it worthwhile. I don’t expect to be writing for hours at all hours. First of all, real life gets in the way and second there are those days when you feel as inspired as a dead gnat.
I will continue to write. I want to, and I do feel that #plantpottales is something of a beginning. Writing is not easy, I don’t believe that for a moment. I will try to do it though. I really will.