I’m done. No, definitely not forever, probably not even for a fortnight, but right now I seriously just need to be done with this thing.
This novel and I – we need a time-out. I’ve got writer’s block (changed my opinion again so now it’s totally a real thing guys), and I’ve got it bad. Writing semi-motivational posts here turns out to be a pretty good way of deluding myself, so I need to monitor that. And all of the things I’m feeling stuck about are things that clicked in the past, so after asking a friend’s advice – which was to take a break, on the premise that it always helps, which is what I’ve repeated to myself and all of you multiple times over the course of this blog, but I guess it really is easier to give advice than to take your own, which thankfully you can actually take advantage of if you have friends to complai-uh, talk to – I concede that I do, in fact, just need to stop for a bit.
Which is kind of good. Yeah, I wanted to pick up momentum heading into study so that I wouldn’t feel so nervous about dropping the ball like I did with the last novel I tried to draft while studying, but this time around I actually have some sort of system in place, whereas with that last novel I really didn’t. I just tried to throw myself at the wall and make something stick, and it didn’t work. This time, I have some kind of process backing up my attempts. Now all I need is a bit of fresh air.
And wouldn’t you know it, I actually do have other stuff to do in the interim.
That script needs drafting, whittling down, dramatisation – something that needs to be performed, rather than a piece that could just as easily be read off the page. And the second script-writing workshop is coming up next weekend as well, so that might be the perfect junction of aligned planets and whatnot to get this thing popping. Until then, the fact that the format is so different to Tallulah and its focus so much narrower is its biggest appeal.
There’s always that Little Red Riding-Hood revision project I’ve harped on about a few times that I could finish, just to feel like I’d completed something. I might even find that I have new ideas for it.
I could even take those side-characters from Tallulah and write the story that I want to with them. At the moment it involves Las Vegas and the Labyrinth (David Bowie’s, not the Minotaur’s, although perhaps he’ll put in an appearance). It’s not entirely serious.
There’s my Fantasy Epic which keeps dying and then resurrecting itself, and I think that’s just how it’s going to be and I’ll have to deal with it. It’s fine. Phoenixes are pretty dope. I have new ideas for this story that make it feel less like my semi-fictional teenage diary and more like an actual story in its own right, and I haven’t played around with fantasy for a little while, so that’s certainly an option. Plus the fact that currently it’s episodic it a plus; the different format might feel quite good.
There’s my superhero idea, which could probably do with a bit of gender-balancing and also a search for originality – I think the formula is the entry-point for me in that regard, either taking the ‘get powers, learn responsibility and save the world’ and applying it to something new, or substituting it for something else.
There’s my transmedia fantasy project that I just have no desire to work on because I can’t think of a way into it, but I think that’s because I’ve tied up the idea of it in investing in how people I’ve told about it have responded to the idea, which is not good. I mean their responses have been overwhelmingly positive, so it’s not the feedback that’s the issue; it’s the fact that I feel like it’s no longer my thing, which is nobody’s fault but my own. And I imagine fairly easily solved as well. Just do what I want and go from there; it’s an idea I was so excited about to start with, so it would be good to rekindle that spark, however I can.
There’s books to read. I’ve got Girl of Nightmares, the third and fourth books in the Earthsea Quartet, books 4-7 of Harry Potter left to re-read since I began last year, The Old Kingdom Trilogy to revisit just because it’s awesome, that J.G. Ballard book with his awesome writing, The God Stalker Chronicles that I bought like a month ago and have been waiting for my backlog of books I have to read to diminish before starting, and The Things They Didn’t Bury, which I got a free copy of and haven’t had time to read either. Plus all the other books I bought for English and never even looked at because the tutorial I needed to have read them for had passed by the time I got them. I might even read American Gods again. It’s been like 3 years, at least.
And there are movies to see. I’m planning to see Before Midnight with a friend, but I want to see Before Sunset first. Before Sunrise is one of my favourite films of all time, and I’m very attached to those characters. I wonder if they’ll keep making them after this, if there will be a Before Solar Eclipse in nine years’ time. There’s the international film festival coming up, and I want to see 13 films there (considering most years I have to whittle down a list of around 30 I’m counting this as a good thing) …
There’s no shortage of Things To Do, is what I’m saying.
And now I feel so much more relaxed. So I am assuming that, yes, taking a break is exactly the right thing to do right now. It’s not an easy decision to make, given my anxieties about study swallowing my novel-writing attempts. But I do think it’s the right one. There’s no point in building up momentum if it’s for a trainwreck. I’ll find a way to make it work. I have to trust that.
Seriously that feels so much better …