Tag Archives: writing

Long story writ quick…

Ok so yesterdays post alluded to a long story (although if you were looking forward to it I dare say you’ll be left unsatisfied as it ain’t that interesting and I’m not going to tell all of it, not just yet)….

For the past year I’ve been snowballed under a stupid amount of projects – some legacy that I had to finish, others ones where the idea or concept took over my sensibilities. Sometimes I should have said no to people, more often I should have said no (or wait) to myself. Often I think I have to get a project worked into before someone else comes up with the idea, as if my ideas are that valuable or unusual, and sometimes I just want to get to the end of a story myself, having come up with the set up and being interested in where things go. That bounced back at me this morning as I noticed that one of my ideas for a Doctor Who story (which I’m assuming has overtaken the Great American Novel as what most authors would like to write?) seems to have been used in an audiobook due for release in the next few days. Very demoralising although it shouldn’t be. I remember fighting at a computer games company for a particular feature which struck me as very emotive (having an adventure game character follow your mouse movements with his head as you played a game. It struck me as something that would break the fourth wall well and lo and behold Grim Fandango did it six months later and it was hailed as revolutionary. Sigh… Sometimes I have ideas but rarely in the right place at the right time).

Because of that all ideas have suffered because instead of working on one project and following through on the stuff I’m less good at – marketing, ego driving, that sort of thing, all ideas flourish in small walled gardens at best. This year, as of now, I’m determined to do just the one thing and then if another comes up I’ll choose which to chase. Working on multiple projects, while holding down two part time jobs and the added rigours and joys that a family blesses me with, doesn’t work and the older I get (nearly forty, shudder ­čÖé ) the less I’m able to juggle things that occasionally burst into fire.

So, ten ideas or so in the forefront of my mind, all shouting ‘pick me’ and jostling for position. I know which I’ll choose and, true to form with me it’s the most recent I’ve come up with in my head so maybe I’ve not entirely learnt my lesson. In all likelihood my main joy is having its hours reduced this academic year coming (their choice, not mine) so it’ll be a level of focus on specific days. I can write, I can draw but in neither case have I gone out of my way to say ‘that’s it, this is the business I’ll focus on for a set amount of time.’ Withe the country and the academic world in the doldrums it looks like I’ve got little choice. Making burgers out of roadkill or whatever the phrase is… ­čÖé The current idea – that which I’m┬ádeterminedly focusing on, started out as a theme in a sketchpad exchange and has since (in the week since it formed in my mind) into something a little more. This time I’m going to work out a pitch, package it nicely, and send it to the book publishers who it’s always been my dream to work with. Maybe, this time, things will work out better than anticipated.

So┬áthe past picture and this one are linked to the new thing, vaguely, soko (sort of kind of). What will come will come, it’s just time to trust in my abilities a little more than I have and hope that the hard work of the past few years now pays off at a time when I need it to a little more.

That said – I still suck at self promotion as the past months semi-disastrous Waterstone’s signing proves. I can do some things well and uber confidently: I can youth work with no problems at all and have had a wonderful week of working with a wide range of young people. Talking about my writing? I end up sounding like the shiest, quietest lemon in the bag. So we’ll see how it goes, but the next couple of terms are forcing my hand so I’ve got to learn to swim quick.

The speech bubble aims at the fact that of the 12 of us on the current sketchpad exchange I’m expecting themes like ‘happy fruit’ or ‘mecha – nuns’ or something. Mine is a little bit more specific and maybe a bit more of a hospital pass ­čÖé We’ll see what people say when they get the pad in the post….