When I made the commitment to following my writing dream, I thought I’d work on one project at a time. Write one novel, start another, and so on. I’d be as focused as a spider building a net, except my intended prey was a publisher.
My writing life isn’t like that at all. It’s a lot more complex (and that’s not even factoring in the domestic, day-to-day matters). Spiders make web-spinning look easy, but I have a hunch that’s not so.
I started writing my novel, working title The Simple Life, around August 2015. It’s been a slow process. I’m not a pressure cooker writer (except when it comes to journalism). When it comes to creative writing, I don’t aim for maximum word count in a short time. I’m more of a slow-cooker writer. When I write, I’m aiming for maximum flavour in my allotted time. I choose the best ingredients (words) I have on hand, and mix them together. I leave them to simmer and then I come back for the taste test.
Now at more than 50,000 words in, I’ve set this aside to work on other projects that need more immediate attention. I’m not on a deadline for the novel so I can do that. But I have other deadlines to work to. A 10,000-word romance for an anthology called A Bouquet of Love due at the end of May. Promoting my children’s book, My Silly Mum, which is due for release in May (and working on a launch). Asking bloggers to review the picture book – as a book reviewer, this is particularly interesting and daunting for me. Writing an article for an online magazine. Reading submissions for an anthology called Writing The Dream (I’ll be compiling and editing this for Serenity Press) by the end of May.
And here’s the thing … I’m aiming for publication of my novel, but in the meantime, the people I want in my web are other writers, mentors and, ultimately readers. To achieve that, I have to work hard and build the strongest web I can.
I have to put myself out there. Work on marketing and promo even though it takes time away from actual writing. Write other pieces for publication while the novel simmers and the flavours fuse. Consciously seek to improve my writing. And keep working on discipline.
Warning: Don’t scroll down if you hate spiders. You should see the photo I didn’t share (I was centimetres from the underside of the spider) …