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Two Pages (06/10/16)


  • My throat is healing well. I ended up writing another two pages of Lawful Evil last night, and I find that when I get into it, the focus provides a lovely and effective distraction from my discomfort.  It also helps that these scenes are dynamic, carrying a lot of plot and narrative weight which demanded some focus. I take pleasure in the work itself and I can only hope that subsequent drafts refine what I’ve done so far.
  • I am gearing back up to go into Until She Sings, ahead of the next batch of notes from my agent. I have said before that the quality of the work is the only thing I can control, which is why I am happy to go over work again until I cannot see where it can be improved. That is not to say that I am arrogant about my talents, but different perspectives see things that I will miss. What I can do, which is a manifestation of self-appointment, is to go over it until I am happy with it. If you can answer the questions before they are asked, then it shows you’re someone who takes the work seriously. I do.
  • I finished The Night’s Watch by Sarah Waters this morning, and that was after reading Fingersmith by the same author yesterday. She’s fantastic, and reading a few of her works one after the other, allows me to see her approach, the things that she talks about in the work. We all have our obsessions, our themes and the things that occupy our writing lives. Recognising that is not formula, but focus. Knowing yourself is key to knowing others, same with acceptance and writing is a fantastic method of doing it.
  • So much of what I do, comes from trying a bunch of different things, and seeing what makes me productive. I’m part of a writing group and we set ourselves exercises which challenge us in different ways. I am not fond of the seam of writing exercises which feel like frippery and distraction, a slightly jejune approach that doesn’t feel like anything other than an indirect call for attention. You can choke creativity with hashtags, and the whole industry of ‘writing about writing’ and smattering it with an air of ‘woo’ doesn’t appeal to me. I can talk about the inherent magic and power of the process, but I cannot convince you to feel it. I prefer to talk about the work in pragmatic terms because that’s what works for me. Sweep the floor, wash the plates and put them, write the pages. No one cares about your feelings, they may care about the work. However, if you enjoy it, then enjoy it without concern for the feelings of others, especially me.
  • A general rule of thumb is that I discount anyone who has done more writing about writing than actual writing. It’s still a book, but it’s theoretical to me. I will not deny the expertise or diminish someone’s subjective experience but you can successfully avoid doing any actual writing with a good prescription of conflicting, unwieldy writing advice.
  • Blogging can offer immediate gratification in a way that the traditional process cannot, but to me, the latter is where the true purpose lies. I don’t talk about marketing or SEO because it’s oftentimes an attempt to define the undefinable and it bores me, feels mechanical and rote. It’s all well and good getting people to your blog but what have you got to say when they’re there. I write about what I know, and what I feel. There are no mission statements here, just my talking about what I am doing and thinking about.
  • Westworld was promising. Some interesting concepts, anchored in lovely performances and the leading lady, Evan Rachel Wood is mesmerising, holding her own alongside the likes of Antony Hopkins and Ed Harris. It raised questions and hinted at some disturbing plotlines going forward. I really enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading. Please leave comments, questions and missives below.



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