I love writing!
I don’t know how I could have forgotten this, because it was all I ever really loved to do as a child (apart from reading, of course. And to a slightly lesser extent playing music). But I just LOVE writing.
I’ve been carving out time here and there to work on my magnum opus (or ‘magnificent octopus’) when I otherwise would have been reading the junk mail, or browsing the BBC News site again to see if anything interesting had tuned up in the past ten minutes or even, gasp, knitting. I’ve been turning down all these cherished pastimes and picking up my notebook.
And then I look up and Kev’s taken the boys to bed and I’m surrounded by dinner dishes and it’s 7.45 pm and I feel great.
Of course, I know there will be difficult times ahead, when the book loses steam and I start to wonder what I was thinking in ever starting it when obviously I’m not capable of writing as much as the driving directions on Googlemaps…
But I don’t think that’ll change the fact that I really like writing. It’s daydreaming, but slightly more concrete, and it feels more productive.
And I’m enjoying writing these longer episodes, which is surprising me. I’ve mostly written short stories in the past, and I didn’t think I had the patience to write longer fiction.
I don’t know why I didn’t spot my latent love for long-form fiction though, considering that I’ve never been able to stick to one of those page-a-day diaries (they always end up stuffed with spare paper); that my eleven-year-old school stories were always six pages long, to everyone else’s tortured two; that I cultivated a fast and legible handwriting style that allowed me to squeeze words into every second of the forty minutes allotted for each essay in the English O’Grade; and that my letters (back when I had time to write long letters) were marathons, every event described in as much detail as needed to draw a laugh from the recipient (I flatter myself, that my letters were usually greeted with pleasant anticipation).
So why I thought I wouldn’t enjoy telling a long story about a girl who isn’t me, but is all the things I’d like to be, and who can have any adventure I decide she should have…well, it’s beyond me. I’d say that maybe I didn’t have a very good imagination, only clearly lack of imagination was never one of my failings. (Lack of practical ability to get stuff done, take my children to where they are supposed to be at the right time, notice clutter, plan a meal, clean a bathroom before it starts to scare me…THESE are things I lack. Imagination? No.)
So la-di-dah, and thanks to Neil Gaiman and Stephen King for their good example and their consistent exhortation to less experienced writers to just sit down and keep writing, for goodness’ sake, because how else do you expect to get better? Sensible men, both.