Monthly Archives: August 2015

On Not Writing Enough

August has come and it has went, with almost no words put to processor. I have made up for that somewhat with a decent run on the reading front finishing: three novels, a collection of short stories, two ancient Indian religious texts, two plays and a graphic novel (more on these in later posts).

The major problem I am having is blocking out time: a holiday mid-August bumped the reading stats, but meant I got little writing done, and the new nine-to-five has got me a bit stressed. Plus I am trying to get a gym habit going for the first time in years, and should probably see friends and family more. All this erodes both time and, more importantly, the currency of discipline.

The solution is to go back to the old model. Head from work to the local study library, sit my arse down in a chair, put on some Nico Muhly or John Luther Adams, and hammer away at the sentences until there are enough for me to go home unashamed.

In the meantime, with no real progress to report, I’ll give you a quick rundown of where the current novel stands.

I have, for the last few years, scribbled two novels and about thirty short stories in my free time. The novels have been put away as unloved by their creator as Frankenstein’s science project, and for largely the same reasons: they are on the whole unattractive and sewn together from mismatching parts.

The next one will not be like that. More planning, more care on the first draft and, thanks to the last two novels, more experience will be going into this one. The goal is to have an agentable draft before next August, which means I need to start the process for real tomorrow, the first of September.

I have about 2.5k words already down on paper, from last month. But as I think we’re looking at 75k-100k words for the first draft, that isn’t even really a scratch let alone a dent.

However, before I get into that, the BBC have an open submissions period for radio plays which closes on the 24th of September. And so before we get into the novel, we have to get a submission sorted for that. I am working on a script which owes a fair amount to Warren Zevon’s Gorilla, You’re a Desperado and the trailer for Frank (2014) (which is a film I should really get round to watching in its entirety).

As we proceed I’ll be putting updates, writing about the things I learn as I go, and trying to document the process for myself as well as posterity.

Goodbye til next time, and Hello to Jason Isaacs.

-JP

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