2018 is approaching at full speed. It's going to be massive, I can feel it. Well, it could be... if I can get my head in gear.
You see, in 2015 I wrote a novel in a year, from scratch, having never completed one before. It was awesome, it was excruciating, it was one hell of a learning curve. I was pretty hard on myself, though. In fact, I became so obsessed with rigid goals and weekly word counts that in the process, other important aspects of my life took a back seat. It was unhealthy.
In 2016, I procrastinated quite a bit. It was productive procrastinating, as I managed to write and publish two other books, Bite-Sized Fiction For Busy People and Get Organised! An Idea Tracker For Writers. However, the novel that I'd poured my heart and soul into had been shelved indefinitely.
Fast forward to this year and I can tell you now that this one started well. I mean really well. I bought a course on How to Revise Your Novel and flew through the lessons. I was unprepared for how much work that was left for me to do after writing the book. Guided by a pro, though, I was soon back on track and once again learning fast. Learning about revision. Aka, the second draft, aka the dreaded rewrite.
Revising the first draft of Crimson Touch was intimidating. It was like that one time in my school years during swimming lesson, where everyone graduated from the little pool to the big pool all at the same time -- all apart from me. And instead of being extra patient with that one child with a deep fear of water, they decided to push me up too, before I knew how to swim.
So, yeah. Umm... where was I going with this, again? Oh yeah. Revising that novel was like being a child again, clinging to the side of a pool that I can't touch the bottom of while not knowing how to swim. I can't think of a more perfect way to describe that feeling of being lost in the vastness of your own epic ideas, with no idea of how to get from A to B without drowning.
Anyway, like I said, the year started well; about as well as it can when one only has a vague notion of what one's journey entails. I'm sure if Frodo and Sam had known that their journey was going to be such a soul sucking slog, they would have thought twice about leaving their cosy holes, even if it was to save the world! However, as months went by and my motivation began to wane, I decided to take the opposite approach to my previous straightjacket discipline and go down the 'do what you want, when you want' route. Yes, I know. Not my best idea. As you can imagine, I didn't get a huge amount done in the latter half of the year, and my project had hit and miss results.
But guess what? I did learn yet another valuable lesson.
So, what have I learnt in these past few years, exploring who I am as a writer? I'll tell you...
1) Discipline is good, within reason.
2) Sometimes, you need to take one step back in order to take two steps forward
3) Good intentions do not write books.
Today, I made a solid action plan for 2018. I know I have what it takes, I believe in myself and if I follow the plan, I get to share Crimson Touch with the world. Hopefully, before I'm old and grey...
There is nothing I want more. So I'm going to blog about my struggles and triumphs over the next twelve months, logging my progress and using this blog to hold myself accountable. Sound good to you?
Until next time then.
Author of bite-sized stories, with debut novel Crimson Touch out 2019.