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Going Nowhere

July 10, 2013

Waiting for the bus one day, a girl sighed and realised that this life is all just mental anyway.

So she let it go and put down her bag and slipped through a crack in reality, because the creatures born in the mind make sense to her the way the concept of money makes sense to other people.

She stepped sideways, and when she opened her eyes the street was empty and the city itself breathed slow and regular.

But it wasn’t entirely empty:  A straggle of boys stood there, in the centre of the road, and stared at her.

I still like to handwrite.

I downloaded Instagram to document my writing process and add visual interest to my blog posts.  How am I doing?

This, for now, is the introduction to my novella project, Going Nowhere.

For too long I’ve felt like I’ve been going nowhere with my writing. Projects start, and then they stall.  I get busy, work hours multiply, my social life kicks up its heels.  I’m not unhappy with my busy life. But I’m not completely satisfied with it either.  I know I can do better with my existence than just ride forward with it until it breaks down.  I want to create something.

This is what Going Nowhere is about.  The title is not a discouragement – it’s a reminder that I need to get through this daunting, hard, difficult, painful slog of a writing process if I’m ever going to reach a good place, a new place where I’m finally sublimely satisfised with how my life is progressing.  And I can already feel it working – work stress takes up less space in my mind and I remember that I’m doing a job I love; I delight in little moments of random human connection; and I can spot the take-you-by-surprise wonders in the seemingly mundane.

Simply: I feel better when I’m spending my spare time working at something that I love.

I might not have noticed this change if I didn’t spend almost as much time thinking about writing as I do actually writing.  I’m starting to believe that documenting the process is, to me, every bit as important as the story itself.  I type novella scenes straight onto the computer, but I handwrite pages talking to myself about how the story is turning out, what I think is broken or not what I intended, why that might be good or bad.  So much is clarified  and focussed by putting it down, that would be lost and muddled only thinking about it.  I’ve had so many breakthroughs thanks to this need to record every uncertainty, decision, and reason.

Thinking twice about everything is what makes a writer in the first place; analysing everyday experience and finding new use for it.  All of the occurences and thoughts get recorded and thrown into the novella stew; spice and flavour.

Documenting has another important function.  Filling notebooks with my brainsqueezings, Instagramming photos to make my efforts look more dramatic, recording spoken thoughts too flighty for paper, blogging about it – all of this creates a mountain of proof that I’ve been working towards something.  I’ve come a long way already, and I’m

not
going
nowhere.

 

And now time to stop agonising about the wording of this blog post, and get back to writing.

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