Another day, another sale. Maybe things are starting to pick up? Do I dare hope?
After some intense soul-searching and a period of deep introspection (or, in fact, I had a thought while drinking a cup of tea this evening), I have decided that it’s not a lack of sales that leads to my famous Black Moods. It’s a lack of writing. Finishing a first draft is always a little emotionally fraught (or fraughtly emotional), and that I didn’t have a solid ‘next project’ to move on to left me at a loose end–basically, what I should have done in those few dark days was concentrate on something other than writing, on going on walks with my daughters, on cleaning the house, even on simple pleasures like playing games–things that I … well, that I didn’t neglect, not exactly, but things that I spent less time doing while I was in the depths of First Draft Frenzy (which is now a recognised medical condition).
To look at me and my life, you might conclude that I’m a fainéant, torpid slugabed, and you would be accurate in doing so. (Incidentally, if you would actually use the word fainéant then I think you’re super-brilliant.) I am extraordinarily lazy. Without motivation I will do literally NOTHING. Well all right not LITERALLY nothing, but I’ll just sit around in my pants all day eating biscuits and wasting time on the Internet and playing games. Well all right so playing games isn’t EXACTLY a waste of time but you get what I mean. What I need are projects, creative in nature, things to keep me interested–because once I am properly motivated I am a powerhouse of enthusiasm and drive. That’s how I keep up 10,000+ word days for weeks at a time, because I am SO excited to be writing and SO keen on seeing what happens next. Even fully outlined a first draft will surprise you every day, every hour, sometimes every minute, and each second spent writing is a second LIVED. Don’t listen to those pantsers who say that outlining kills a story, they are flat out WRONG. And I don’t often say that. (To be clear: I’m not saying that the ‘seat of your pants, no outline, just point your keyboard at the end of the sentence and gun the metaphorical engine’ method of writing is wrong; to each their own, I say, and good luck to you if that’s what works. But if you think a fully outlined story is dead or holds no surprises or is dull to write then you could not be wrongerer.)
Dragging myself back on point, writing is one of very, very few activities that doesn’t drain all of my energy in a matter of minutes. I can do it for hours, without stopping, without pausing, and in those times I am, I think, at my best. Everything’s simple and pure, my body is irrelevant, the computer disappears, the keyboard disappears, my hands disappear (“Holy Moses, where’d my hands go?”), and there’s only the story.
Wait, that wasn’t back to the point at all! I lied to you! Let’s try that again:
I have no idea what my point is. Well, that being the case it looks like it’s time for another patented (all right, all right, patent pending, stop splitting hairs) Point-From-Nowhere! Let’s see what we’ve got in the sack today:
“Carry a spare pair of socks with you at all times. That way, your feet need never go cold.”
Yes. That is EXACTLY what my point was. That’s what everything in this post was leading towards. Spare socks. Let’s just end this with a BJK Factoid:
BJK Factoid #152: My favourite ‘pure’ iceblock is the ever-elusive Fruju Grapefruit & Lemon.
And with that, it’s time to say good night, everybody! Except ah! Ah! Ah wait, because I remember now–today I wrote like 8,000 words on Power Play and I feel GREAT. Really having fun, really enjoying spending time with these characters again, really enjoying seeing what they’ve been up to in the six months (in-story time) since the last book (four months real time) (it feels like longer), REALLY having fun playing with the ‘diary’ format.
Quick Tip: If you want to make yourself feel good and produce a huge number of words every day, I recommend writing a book in the first-person diary format. It’s just like writing bjournal posts, except you can make up every single thing that happens.
Basically, writing is good and it’s good to write because writing makes you feel good.