How much time?

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writing

Please don’t think I’m lazy but apologies are due I believe. The unforeseen hiatus in posts was enforced by MS dragging me down. Anyway I am back to the Blogging again. However Time is a tough commodity to manage when living with spasms, stiffness and exhaustion, so no wild promises or resolutions this time.

When I started this Blog at the end of May, the dominant theme became Editing as that was the writing stage I had reached with my first novel.  After 12 years plus of working on Spiral of Hooves, I hoped that the end was in sight and only a couple of drafts were required to reach the finishing line.

Was I foolish thinking Editing would be so easy? 

Three months on from starting the edit I had reached a quagmire and quit three days ago. Identifying the dire marshes that trapped me is simple – word checking.  Was I reading too many posts about finding those ‘weasel words’ that grate and trying to eliminate them? I was spending day after day exterminating adverbs and expunging that/what/had/was or anything that was incorrect.  I began to hate the manuscript and believe that it was not good enough. Plus I craved the day when I could move on to a better novel and get out of the Dead Marshes.

English: A view of the Kepler Mire String Bog ...

English: A view of the Kepler Mire String Bog from the Mt York Road Southland New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia) [Used in LOTR films]

I abandoned the novel and put it back in the ‘bottom shelf’, deciding to move on and use a better manuscript as my first novel – the one I would use to get an agent. There was a mixture of frustration at my failure to finish Spiral of Hooves and relief at the thought of tackling Wyrm Bait, which already has a sequel hovering in the wings (called Wyrm Blood).

But was I wrong to give up so easily?

In the last few days two things happened that have possibly opened up clearer paths forward in my writing quest.  First, my grand-daughter Jessica – step- if I was being pedantic – passed me a link to a US publishing group run by writers: Perhaps they might be another route for a novel that needs a home – after a minor tinker.

Second, I read a repost by a US agent – – that made me realise that I could be following the rules too rigidly and stifling my creation before I had given it a chance. Thanks then to Rachelle Gardner for rekindling my belief in my creative process and putting the Editing in a context – not that I’m throwing out the rules that pulled me away from my worst writing excesses.

I need to learn from this journey through the Pedantry Marshes when I move on to Wyrm Bait and I must choose a more sensible approach.  I’ve learnt that writing a first draft isn’t so much of a burden as the Editing and I need to manage Time better.  I hope that I can do that and find enough Time to produce the other ideas that are crying out for creation.  On the cusp of 59 I wonder how much more writing I can manage before MS steals all the thoughts away.

How much Time does a novel require in your life? Do you juggle or manage?

"Writing on the wood is prohibited."...

“Writing on the wood is prohibited.” DSC07600 (Photo credit: Nicolas Karim)

One thought on “How much time?

  1. Moving on to something new is not the same as giving up. It sounds like you might need some headspace from your first novel. Writing something new might make you long for and love your first one again. Writing fueled by that longing and love is much better (and more fun to do) than the stuff we put to paper when we’re feeling really tired.
    But you’re right – you have to do what is right for you. No one else can say what’s best here.
    Keep up the amazing work!


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