Today has been a busy and productive day. There has been an idea going round and round in my head for quite some time, and ever so often it gets another little push from my subconscious or my higher self, or whatever it is that nudges me creatively from time to time. In this case the idea (which I will NOT disclose for obvious reasons) keeps reappearing when I am driving to work, and again when I am driving home. Today, rather than simply ignore it again, I decided to tick off one of the items on my writing ‘to do’ list, and draft out the ideas in the story. As I began to write, the ideas grew and flowed and coalesced, so that my initial meanderings transformed themselves into four and a half thousand words of notes and the beginning of a potential first chapter. It felt wonderful to be creating again, after so long looking at existing projects and working on the same things. I just had to give my imagination free rein for a while. Now that I have this idea down in some form on paper, it exists outside of my ruminations and is a real project, not a potential one. Already it is beginning to take on a life of its own. The characters are a little empty as yet, and I am sure that I will work on them in due course, but for the time being, the ‘world’ of the story has taken shape, the context has been outlined, and one character sketched roughly into the overall landscape. I am glad to say that WRITING features strongly in this new project, as do many of my other favourite concepts. I feel it will be years in the making, however, because already the complexity of the story is apparent and I haven’t even worked out the plot yet!
I don’t know how often other writers feel energised by a new idea, and then use this energy to finish an older project, but this is fuelling my drive to finish the PhD novel’s rewrite, and finally move on from it for a while. It makes me feel motivated to keep my life in order, because it is only through a certain semblance of order – staying on top of things, getting admin, work and home tasks done in a timely manner, staying conscious of my commitments and putting energy into them – that I can give myself the space to write creatively again.
Writing is a strange preoccupation, as it is at once creative and internal and simultaneously sheer hard work. It is perhaps the second element I struggle most with – the redrafting and rewriting which seems to leech all energy and creativity out of what was once so beautiful (to me anyway). But I know that it is all part of the whole, part of the process, and no author is ever successful without significant effort. So here I go, making the effort, and hoping that this new creative surge will carry me through.
Happy writing everyone.
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