Friday, 17 May 2013

Being The Literary Equivalent of Homer Simpson

I wonder what images the above title conjures up... Am I in fact bald with yellow skin? Drinking a Duff Beer and saying 'Doh!' a lot? Or attempting to type this blog with my face and going "Oww! Why does writing hurt so much?"

(Actually the third one is probably closest to the truth. Except for the typing with my face part.)

Still working on Draft Two of The Renegades. If you want a fanfare to go with that statement, you'd best play it on a kazoo, because that's about all it's worth. The good news is of course that I am still writing it, rather than reverting to the strategy I always used in the past (which mainly consisted of going "Sod this for a chocolate chip cookie" and abandoning it for some other project.) The bad news is... it's taking so blimmin' LONG!

Draft One was a blast. Draft One was like freewheeling down a hill on a bike, with just your feet for brakes. Draft Two, so far, has been like trying to walk back up the hill after you've been eating too many doughnuts and sitting at home watching daytime TV until your arse resembles a space hopper...

(Huh! I should be so lucky, to indulge in such luxury..!)

Like the aforementioned Homer Simpson, I am feeling distinctly unfit for this task. My writing pace has slowed to a crawl, and after each daily 'session' I come away from my keyboard feeling like I've been trying to rewrite the Magna flippin' Carta. In Ancient Greek. How can rewriting what I've already written once before make me feel so gosh-darned lazy and STOOPID?

If I were the Big Yellow Guy himself, I would probably be wailing "it's too hard, and it's making my brain unhappy" right about now. And my smart-alec daughter Lisa would probably make some pithy comment about getting in better shape in order to feel like doing more exercise. And then I would tell her to go to her room... but anyway, enough with the Homerisms, there's a point in all of this somewhere. And I think it's that, rather than get hung up on the negative aspect of how much slower the process has become, I should instead focus on the positive aspect - that in spite of the trials and tribulations, I'm still turning up to put in the effort each day.

When it comes to the Metaphorical Olympics of Writing, I am quite obviously going to have to spend some time (okay then - a long time) being Homer Simpson before I can progress to being Usain Bolt. The words are definitely coming slower - but, when I compare my new Draft Two chapters to the old Draft One versions, they are better second time around. And not just a little bit better; a lot better - enough to make me think "Yeah, I'm glad I've done it that way this time around..."

So I think it's worth sticking at it, however long it takes. And that's what I need to remember whenever I get impatient, or frustrated... or hear that doom-heavy voice in my head saying "Y'know what? Maybe the real reason you're finding this so tough is because you're just not any good at writing after all."

I'm hearing that voice a lot recently; I think he's been listening to all the hype surrounding E.L. James and Amanda Hocking and comparing me unfavourably. After all, they both woke up one morning and thought "What shall I do today? Ooh I know - I'll become a best-selling author!" - and then banged out their debut novels in a few months and became instant millionaires, didn't they? 'Cause that's exactly how it works if you're truly talented!

Hmm... I think I may well be exploring that notion for a future post...

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