Making progress

Once again, time has flown by and I’m happy to report that I have been able to progress my novel by writing in time-constrained bursts, which happily coincide with my man’s desire to play video games on his XBox360. So I have been able to wallow in guilt-free peace for an hour or two each evening, when we arrive home from our cleaning jobs.

I have used the time wisely, I believe – resisting the temptation to linger on Facebook, posting pithy replies to the comments of friends and former colleagues. I steadfastly refuse to open any forwarded email containing photos of unlikely animal alliances – predator snuggling up beside prey, for example (just before he bites the cute l’il critter’s head off, I imagine.) My horoscope and Angel Cards remain unread and my iPhone’s on ‘silent’ to minimise the distraction of incoming texts and calls. (It vibrates and they flash on the screen, of course – but I’m learning to ignore any non-urgent messages until the alarm signals that my writing time is up.)

I’m really lucky to have a sizeable third bedroom which we have converted into a studio. I have a decent-sized table, an iMac and a Macbook – the latter being connected to the internet for research and for printing through WiFi (and definitely not for FB, inspirational emails, on-line tarot or shopping.) I have the choice of a swivelly, tilting padded leather computer chair, or an fiendishly designed kneeler which looks austere but is surprisingly comfortable for quite extended periods.

So – having no excuse or mitigating circumstance to the contrary – I have no option but to sit myself comfortably and write. Just write, without prejudice or self-consciousness or even paying that much attention to the words that I type, bizarrely. if it comes into my head, I put it on screen – which is a major step forward for me. I’m allowing myself to compose a load of rubbish without editing it, re-working it and talking myself out of retaining any of it, because it’s not coming out like I would like it to.

And – although I am reluctant to admit it – when I read it a day or three later, I find that it’s actually okay. Even if parts of it aren’t, then chunks of it are and the rest is usually tweakable. Or a passage may not belong where I’ve put it but might fit somewhere else perfectly – sparking off fresh ideas, sending my characters down paths I never knew existed until then, making sense of random thoughts I previously dismissed as too confusing. The pieces of a puzzle I’ve been struggling to solve effortlessly drop into place and  I’m flushed with enthusiasm, every fibre of my being vibrating with excitement.

At moments like these I suddenly know why I’m driven to keep on writing.


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