2007 has been a really important year for me writing-wise. I have finally got my act together, made writing part of my daily life and written complete pieces and sent them out there. I'm also really fortunate at the moment in having a fair bit of time to write in, as my work load is quite light.
So, where's the novel?
I've realised that despite my newly acquired positive approach to writing and my daily stint with pen and paper or keyboard to hand, part of me is still hanging on to that old idea that my novel will just write itself, while I sit here and doodle. I found the following quote appropriate:
The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895
Well I've been looking for it for ages and it hasn't turned up yet, so I need to face the fact that some hard grafting, some creative juicing, spilling of ink and tapping of fingers is required. Otherwise it will forever remain what it is today - just a damn good idea for a novel.
I'm wondering if my recent forays into short, short fiction are also holding me back, not just because I am writing them instead, but also because I am finding it difficult to think in terms of longer pieces of writing. But maybe I can put this to use. In much of my flash / micro-fiction I have been writing 'moments'. Advice from writing friends and books suggests approaching a novel 'scene by scene', so as not to be daunted by the whole. Maybe I need to approach mine 'moment by moment'. If I write enough moments I should eventually have a novel.
It's worth a try.
Meanwhile, I listened to Book of the Week on Radio 4 this morning and really enjoyed it: the journalist Katharine Whitehorn reading from her autobiograpy, a beautifully written insight into life and love in the 1950s, well worth a 'listen again'