the art of staying in love

I have fallen distinctly out of love today with technology. We had a failed monitor on one of our enormous machines at work – Imagine a washing machine, kind of, but 10 times bigger, but only if a washing machine looked a bit like a cement truck but heaps bigger… I had to run about the town buying a new monitor (picture a big screen tv plugged into a computer that operates the huge washer… Once that was installed by our amazing maintainence guru, we noticed that one of the computers in the office had somehow lost all of it’s info. How the f*** does that happen? Anyway, it’s just for orders and didn’t have much info but I had to muck about sorting it and doing updates. Then my phone had to be re-set…over it! Somedays I could just run away with the circus…

Then I went for a lovely walk along the beach and all was forgiven…

Then I sat down to finish this post only to find that I had somehow saved a butchered version of it and lots of nice words that I’d written had disappeared into the ether, presumably with the data from the office computer. Fail.

I had written about how tough it is sometimes to stay the course. We really have no choice in our work life most of the time. We have to pay the bills. In our creative work too though, we can lose interest in what we’re working on, saboutage ourselves, chop and change, get distracted from the second edit by the thrill of the new first draft… I can’t get over how easily I get distracted from writing. It’s silly. I write because I want to, because I love it, because if I don’t I’ll explode. I write, on a good day, a couple of thousand words a day. Imagine if I didn’t write them – I’d have to ‘say’ them and I don’t know if the people around me would cope!

I am a bit of a rule follower and as I approach Nanowrimo I want to embrace the spirit of the event which is to create a new project and write 50,000 words in the month. I had this grand plan to write-to-market to some extent, a novel set in Paris using concepts from Midnight in Paris (movie) but from a female perspective. I like the idea and I’d like the challenge of planning something for once; I’m a natural Pantser (write by the seat of my pants!) Then I look at the awesome first drafts I have written last November (Circle of Ash) and April (Mimi gets away with Murder) and I want to write them instead! I need to write them! Am I so much of a pedant that I will avoid writing what fascinates just because it’s a tiny bit like colouring outside the lines? The lure of the new shiny thing is strong!

No. It isn’t. I’ll be working on a first draft of Circle of Ash first. I am passionate about this story. I’m passionate about history, about the ancient Celts, druids, English countryside, stone circles, climate science, archeology… so many things. My friend Deb (Hi Deb) asked me this week over coffee (her) and tea (me) what drew me to the concept. Did I study history at school? The short answer is no. I didn’t study history because the cool group of girls took history and I was too intimidated by them to choose the subject. Plus I couldn’t see how it was going to help me get a job, to be honest and that was my focus. (Job = getting out of that town!)

Being a writer simply wasn’t on my radar. They say you can’t be what you can’t see and I couldn’t see a path to anything that didn’t have a weekly pay cheque attached to it. So now, I indulge all my passions in all their nerdy glory. So I’ll push through the resistance and write my second draft of Circle of Ash. When the shiny things beckon, I’ll put on my She Moved Through the Fair Spotify playlist and get writing. I’ll do what Jenn Louden says to do when the going gets tough… I’ll stay where my words are.

Feature Photo by Sol Mitnick on Unsplash

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