What is it about inspiration? I have one published novel. Three-works-in-progress, consisting of two drafted manuscripts which need polish prior to potential publication and one drafted in outline. Even so, I decided in the middle of a funeral to embark on another; probably best not to dwell on what gave me the idea and why I wasn’t concentrating on the departed.
After the initial enthusiastic surge of anticipation, my planning stalled for a while and I concentrated on honing my procrastination skills; we’re talking oven-cleaning.
Then a germ of an idea started to incubate. After hatching, it resulted in several all-nighters on the laptop – that’s not as bad as it sounds as I’m an insomniac. About 30,000 words into the manuscript I reached the point of feeling resentful when I had to go out to enjoy myself (caught at a function scribbling on a napkin and hiding it in clutch bag).
‘She writes,’ said Mr JH by way of explanation for what might be perceived as slightly strange behaviour. Sympathetic nods and condescending smiles from newly-made acquaintances. ‘Poor bloke,’ said one in an overly loud whisper. Pretended I didn’t hear.
So last week I was at that lovely stage of knowing roughly where the plot was heading and excitedly waiting for my characters to discover how to fulfil their destiny – or insist on changing it. (Will look at that another time).
Then the spanner in the works.
As reported last time, a chance meeting with an illustrator led to the possibility of a new project. Promised him I would be in touch as soon as my current work was in the locker. As if. Three days later I emailed him my simplistic attempt at drawing a small character I wanted him to re-create.
Now in the very few odd moments I’m not working on my current manuscript or embellishing the others, I’m thinking of names, settings and back-stories for the new venture. Consequently there are so many tabs simultaneously open in my brain, each with its own drop-down menu, that I’m forgetting to eat (foolish) and still wearing my dressing gown at noon (embarrassing). Thank heavens my children are too big to be classified as neglected.
Who said keep writing no matter what? Like there’s a choice.