Sometimes, after I take a break from writing, especially in the middle of a first draft, especially especially when it’s a really long book like this one (150k and juuuuust about in the last part) (makes Ben Hur look like an epic!), I open up the file again, sit there looking at it for a while, then quietly mutter, “Oh no.” Happily, that’s not the case this time. I’ve had a nice little three day holiday from it, I worked on covers, I played DarkStar One (hilariously awful writing and ‘acting’, kind of just made me want to play Frontier) (and by the way, is it ridiculous or is it RIDICULOUS that Frontier is still the best space sim available? That’s ridiculous, right? It’s like twenty years old at this point, you’d think someone would’ve picked up that ball and ran with it by now but no, still the king) (it’s like how the original X-Com is still the best management/research/tactical strategy game, nobody’s made anything better! And if I’m completely honest I sometimes prefer Laser Squad because nothing better than THAT has been made yet, what’s Laser Squad now, like thirty years old?) (this post has now become an old man’s rant in parentheses, is there any hope of salvaging it? Well, let’s have a go, anyway), and it’d be rude to continue this list after all of that, so let’s go to a new paragraph and hope that makes things a little better.
Phew. Here we are, in a new paragraph. In short, I had a good three days of rest (and I spent a lot of that time in bed) (I read Barry Crump’s Wild Pork And Watercress again, splendid book, just splendid, I so recommend it) (wait a minute, I’m back in parentheses again, how did that happen? HOW did that happen? Let’s break out before I start ranting again) and it turned out to be the right decision, because coming back to Against Darker Days I found that I was excited about it again. It’s still very rough, very first draft-y, and of course it’s not finished yet, but coming back to it after a break I remembered why I was so excited to be writing it–which I was losing sight of a little, back in the before. Getting close to burnout, which is never fun. Recognising the signs of burnout in yourself and acting to prevent it is an important part of being a writer, I think. Burnout may be the reason why so many people give up halfway through their first attempt at a novel. I remember when I first started writing, getting so frustrated at myself because my sentences never came out sounding right, trying to figure out why my stories never came together like those of the writers I admired. It took a long time for me to realise just how much work goes into putting a story together. It’s not an easy thing, writing. It’s just easier than not writing, that’s all.
Anyway, back to work now. Grandparents have daughters so I’ve got, oh, maybe an hour? Maybe two! Maybe two hours just to write in! I’m certainly not wasting this opportunity. Headphones on, cup of tea close at hand, outline open, cursor blinking; Ladies and Gentlemen, I am writing.