In his book On Writing Stephen King says that ‘once he starts a project, he doesn’t stop or slow down unless he absolutely has to’. When I read that sentence it sparked something and I knew this was how I would have to write if I wanted to finish my novel. Without missing a beat, cogs silently shifted, I changed gears and I’ve managed to keep my nose to the grindstone ever since.

          I ended last week on a high after reading through the first draft of my novel and gave myself Easter Sunday off. After all, a girl has to get her priorities in the right order and chocolate is pretty high on the pecking  list at this time of year - I’m just not sure if pecking is the right word as I don’t know any chocoholic who pecks. Devour, demolish, consume, even inhale are more apt words to describe what happens when the object of one’s desire presents itself with such availability and the normal constraints are removed. 
          Despite the excesses of sense gratification on offer, by the end of the day, I felt out of sorts, as if I’d overlooked something. And I had. It was the writing.  Since I became more serious about making time for writing, I’ve found that if I don’t have my daily connection with the creative process, something is noticeably missing. 

           Oh, I know life isn’t that simple. Family, work, friends and many other elements make up the fabric of our reality, but for me that one percent inspiration that started me on this journey, and which I tap into when I’m writing, makes me feel very alive. It’s that one percent which keeps me going.

          Weirdly enough, straight after thinking all this, I was overcome with lethargy at the thought of the amount of work ahead of me.  Editing for me is like painting. I have the basic composition on the canvas, then I add layers of colour, putting highlights and shadows here and there and working to get the perspective right. And yes, I know modern art isn’t everyone’s preferred beverage but like every genre, it has its aficionados.

          One technique I learnt when revising for exams, is to focus on the goal – you imagine what it feels like to hold that certificate in your hand. It’s a way of tricking your mind and overcoming the obstacle of what you perceive to be the endless task of revision. In my case, I’m focussing on a finished second draft. I have a rough schedule in mind – I’d like to achieve a chapter a day but will be satisfied with four, or if possible five, chapters a week.  And I won’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve it. I’ll just keep going until I’m holding that Holy Grail of a finished novel in my hand, or if no publisher is interested, I shall be proud to see it on the screen as an ebook.  

Today’s Haiku

Coin of the Aztecs;
Mississippi mud delights
my pleasure centres.
My time management skills  – the novel, the blog  and life - mean that things don’t always happen as soon as I’d like but I had some good feedback recently on the haikus for Haikus Galore , so there is progress.

A really great  read is  Roads Taken by M. Joaquim at the Kindle Store.  Here's the link:  Check it out!

 ROADS TAKEN: Short Stories

I'm going to rotate the links to other writers I find helpful. One newsletter I subscribe to, where there are plenty of good tips and information, is: 

Another valuable book is How Fiction Works by James Wood which has lots of insights to help with your writing. 

For all book lovers out there, I wish you good reading and for those of you who write, good writing.

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