I’m really liking my new mantra; sit down, write something, and finish it. It has really helped to get me to… sit down, write something, and finish it. Only one problem. My characters don’t like it.
I made some very logical and scientific decisions about what I was going to focus on, based on how close I was to the end of the stories, what effort was left to finish them off, that sort of thing. As you can imagine it involved some spreadsheets and conditional formatting to make cells change colour, a few drop-down boxes and a meaningless pivot table just to show myself that I hadn’t forgotten how to do it.
So I’m focussing on ‘James’ (one day I’ll win an award for least imaginative working titles), I’m liking ‘James’, I making good inroads into ‘James’, but guess who starts visiting me in the shower, when I’m vaguing out on the bus, when I’m going for a long walk… It’s not ‘James’… It’s ‘Lore’.
‘Lore’ is only 6 chapters long and has at least another 15 to go. ‘Lore’ comes about 12th on my spreadsheet of stories to focus on. ‘Lore’ is meant to be ignored for at least the next 6 months and possibly put on the scrap heap. ‘Lore’ wants to be written.
I’m very aware that ‘inspiration if for amateurs’* so I am trying to resist ‘Lore’ –writing longhand what gets revealed to me, and even then only notating those parts that I have watched play out. But soon I think I’m going to have to give in and dive back into the story.
Maybe the mantra needs another tweak; sit down, write something and finish it, then sit down again and keep working on the things I want to work on as well. Not quite as punchy, but maybe it will put the phantoms to rest?
*quote from artist Chuck Close.