It feels good when the pace of life slows down when you’ve had a month of a stressful deadline to work against. However, life is picking up again and there are so many things I have to do that I’m starting to feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. I’m one of those people who had good intentions and thought they would start their Christmas shopping early, only to find that it’s now two weeks before Christmas and you’ve only just started – plus you have no idea what to get anyone, or are definitely not 100% sure. Then another deadline crops up and despite enjoying the work you have to do, it still feels like it’s a race against time, and on top of that you’re also trying to set up a business. So yeah, I don’t know if I’ll manage to finish my novel this week. I’m starting to worry a bit because it feels like I’m losing touch with the characters a bit. Last month was so intense, and my head was populated with characters, and it feels sad to not be writing in such an intense way right now. This is why I need a new writing project, sharpish!
The other day, I had the idea of compiling a book on Blurb in January – a kind of ‘Greatest Hits’ of 2011. Basically, a book of memories – of photos, of blog posts, of bits of my own writing from this year, of things that have inspired me – to keep as a reminder of what an interesting year this has been. It would be great to start a tradition of doing this every January, a way to remind myself when I’m old, s0mething to show family, and most of all to remind me of my own achievements. All too easily, I find myself feeling low and forgetting all the good and happy things in life. I don’t think happiness is fleeting, as I’ve said before, I think it’s something we find in ourselves and have to nurture. There are some things that make us happy only for a short time, whilst others still give us that glow when you remind yourself of it. Perhaps if you have the time and a bit of money – you could make your own memory book too?
There was a magic to November that has been replaced by a very different magic this month. The glow of fairy lights is still very much in evidence, whilst strangely I’ve stopped lighting candles – which was a big ritual last month when I sat down to write at my laptop in Scrivener. It seems that writing has its own little rituals – cues that tell our brains and our hearts that we’re going to write now, and to get ready for it. This month I’ve been distracted by other things, but I’m trying not to be too hard on myself otherwise I’ll get stretched too thin. Even though there is a part of me that always feels as though I should be writing, that every moment I spend doing something else is a moment I could spend writing – a sort of nagging critic in the back of my mind. I ignore it most of the time, otherwise I wouldn’t have much of a life – and wouldn’t get inspiration from the things that happen and the things I see and notice each day.
I’ve dropped certain things by the wayside when it comes to writing habits. Like, I ended up dropping the habit of 750 words a day at 750words.com and I also haven’t written much in my notebook recently. Maybe it’s just because of the intensity of last month, I don’t know. Maybe I’m making my own rules and figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t work. Every writer is different, and once you’ve settled into habits that work for you, that help you produce writing each day, or whenever you can do it, things become more productive. It’s all a learning curve – definitely part of the whole ‘enjoy the journey’ thing. For me, the journey is sometimes more exciting than the end goal. It is the actual writing where we get the title ‘writer’ – not from affecting a lifestyle. There is no lifestyle of a writer really, since everyone has their own habits and quirks.
This has turned into a strange little rambling post. I’m going to call it a night, but it was fun while it lasted. I hope it all makes sense to me when I wake up in the morning!
I was making movies, when movies were making me
I jumped from reel to reel to reel and did it – silently
I did the bit parts – stole the scenes
And saw myself go far
So take a movie world from me
And you can be a star… ~ Chickenshed Theatre – I Was Making Movies (from Making Great Movies).