There are sessions where it lands like lightning. Some of that comes from mindset, the hard earned habit of practice aligned to purpose. Other times, it comes from a need, raw and real to escape the world and it’s ten thousand joys and sorrows.
There are also days where you’re following your strategy. Today was a mixture of all of them, but I was done with my two pages very quickly. I’m a fast learner because I am determined to improve. I’m not in competition with anyone else other than the man I was yesterday. I have adopted some of the principles from Shawn Coyne’s The Story Grid in having an outline, but it’s not rigid and inflexible. A series of interesting travel suggestions, if anything, but knowing where to go and what to do has made for a tighter, more purposeful book thus far and it’s still in exploratory draft. I have already made notes on where I want to cut but I work on the principle of maintaining momentum and keeping that excitement going.
I write for an ideal reader, but first and foremost, I have to excite myself about the idea and the execution. You spend a lot of time with a story, whether it be short or long, so enthusiasm wanes naturally regardless of your attitude. I look to write in a skillful way, and part of that is how I arrange my life to ensure that it gets done each day.
I used to look at the stories of the drugged, drunken geniuses who lived, wrote and died in short brilliant bursts of divine inspiration and wonder if I could that. Then, as you learn more about yourself, you see all the excuses and barriers you put in front of yourself and wonder if day drinking could be the key. It isn’t. That old maxim about ‘wow you must be on drugs’ when you produce something outlandish or outre is untrue. It takes work and determination to write, sometimes that comes from a blind survival instinct where you write through your pain, out of it. When the world hurts you, and it does, every day, in ways both small and large, you can go to the page and disappear from it all. Sometimes it is like that for me, of late, but I acknowledge that. My knowledge of my self is acute, sometimes painfully so, and so I can rest in my work ethic and my determination. My love is for the process not the outcome, and I write like it’s my job, my calling, my obligation to the universe.
Being British, we have a bit of an issue with success and ambition, that’s unusual because, talking to Americans as I have done (slowly and with deliberate emphasis on the long words s/) their approach and appreciation of success and ambition is different. They celebrate it, the pat on the back and the respect is notably absent in my country. It might be a class thing, I’m not sure, but for me, setting myself goals and ambitions has made me happier. Everyone is a warrior underneath the layers of adipose disappointment and we cloak them in the language of dreams and ‘if only’. For me, the joy and reward I get from writing is motivation enough to get to a point where I can do it all the time. Without starving.
To that end, I am exploring tangential avenues, that will allow me to still write and work my day job with an aim to getting a qualification that would allow me to teach Creative Writing. If you do something you love, why not keep doing it? So, waiting on a callback from the Open University on that at some point.
I am also plotting out the next book after Lawful Evil, so I am asking if any of you know of, or have experience on the following subjects. My normal avenue of research isn’t available to me for a while, but I would appreciate anyone who knows about the following:
Brujeria/Mexican witchcraft and folklore, mythology.
History of Mexico, clothing, food, details.
Send me a message either here in the comments or my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.