Friday 17 October 2014
The process of writing a book is a personal one. I've never met two writers whose processes are alike, but I have met enough to know that the above image would resonate with many. Our self-confidence fluctuates, our enthusiasm wilts then revives. It's a see-saw, a swing, a frikkin' roundabout of emotions that range from energising to debilitating.
At the time of this blog post, I am within two pages of finishing a novella due for release in early 2015. When I first started writing Driftwood Summer (working title), I was unstoppable. I missed meals. I jabbered about these characters like they were best friends. Now, I'm self-shaming myself into finishing, because my mind's already moved on to new characters. Better friends.
It's often this way for me. I need to knock out the ending fast, or I lose momentum and get cranky. Watch me, by the end of today I'll have written 'The End' and completely forgotten the struggle to get there. "It was a joy!" I'll crow. Yeah, right. Pass the chocolate.
I am also two days into a new project (I know, bad writer!), and utterly overwhelmed with the possibility of it. It's unlike anything I've ever done before, and it took stumbling across the above image for me to realise I want to map its journey from inception to completion. If it's ever truly complete, that is.
See? Unless anything I've ever done before. It has no visible end.
So, I'm marking the moment. I'm about to pop over to Twitter and post my first new project update. The hashtag #theregulars will feature in every update, and in time - at a significant milestone - I'll use it to track my progress, both in words written, and mood.
I'm keeping myself accountable by writing in a day-to-a-page diary. I'm loving the practice of it so far, because one page isn't overwhelming on the days when I'm not sparking, and one page is teasing on the days when I am. I don't run over on to the next page, but wait, impatient for the next day. The diary is dragging me forward, and with me, undeniable progress.
I've got to say, there's also something nostalgic and boundless about handwriting an excerpt. Away from the internet and the internal editor, connected with the friction on the page and the liquid sweep of the pen. I don't hand write enough. I'm typically too impatient for it because I'm such a fast typer, but this exercise is getting me back to that. It's slowing me down, which in this instance, is a good thing.
Each day's writing does not have to be connected to the day before. It can be a new scene, a new excerpt. It can be set wherever and about whatever is resonating with me at the time. This reduces further pressure. It doesn't even have to be about The Regulars, even though that's what I'll be tracking.
Being a typically chronological writer, I'm broadening my skillset and challenging myself to follow my inspiration, however disconnected it may be.
In conclusion, for those of you who are interested in following a writer's process - through the mire of every emotion imaginable - I welcome you on board.
If you don't have Twitter, I'll be regularly posting the #theregulars feed on my website, so you can follow it there.
For those of you who followed my recent holiday posts, apologies, I'm home, and my nose is back to the grindstone. In good news, though, if you enjoyed all the mischief and madness of my trip, stay tuned. Many of my experiences will be making their way into books for you to enjoy in the not too distant future!
Until next time.
Labels: @anxietyissue, @EliseKAckers, #amwriting, #theregulars, author, Driftwood Summer, Elise Ackers, Elise K. Ackers, Guillaume Morissette, hashtag, holiday, progress, Regulars, Twitter, writing a book, writing process
Location: Melbourne, Australia Melbourne VIC, Australia