Friday, 20 January 2012

Of deadlines, editing, wading through treacle, and the relative easiness of the latter.

So. It's just as well "write more blog posts" wasn't one of my New Year's resolutions. It's better not to fail spectacularly at too many things at once...*

At the moment I am editing.

More precisely, I am trying to edit. This week I have actually done some work, i.e. cutting and rewriting, which is an improvement on last week, but that putative deadline of 1st of February - oh, I was so pleased to have an actual deadline like a real writer! - is looking less and less achievable. Especially since the Australian Open is NOT BEING SHOWN ON THE BBC, which means I have no reason to stay at my computer, idly editing in the changes of ends... (If you think that's a joke, by the way, sorry, it isn't. I was genuinely relying on the motivational power of watching BBC Sport, with Word open in a different window. Please don't laugh.)

I don't know why it's so hard, but it really is. Maybe because I've just got another idea for a novel, or rather an idea for another novel, and all I want is to start writing that... or because I'm trying to do something new every week, which is quite exciting but rather distracting, or because I'm feeling strangely domesticated and would happily spend a lot of time cooking. As I say, I don't know. It's not even that I think the book is bad. I think it's fine. Maybe it's just that it's not the sort of book I feel like reading right now.

It doesn't matter. The crucial thing is that it's difficult, but it's advancing. I think I have tentatively decided how to solve my problems - ha! note the "tentative" - and now all I have to do is Just Do It. (To coin a phrase. Thank you, Nike.) As someone rather vulgarly and brilliantly says in this relevant blog post, "That story isn't going to unfuck itself." Well, quite.

So I suppose I should be optimistic. I might hit the deadline. You never know.

Then again, I should be working on it now. Right now.

* If you're interested: out of my 12 New Year's resolutions, I have so far kept 6 (more or less); 3 of them are unkept as yet, but since I regard myself as having until the end of next December to keep them I'm not being too hard on myself; and I have failed miserably so far at the remaining 3 of them. I'm not going to specify which are which. :)