Week 60

60Bloody hell. Pensioner status. Somebody this week described my weeknotes as "liveblogging a novel", which I like immensely. The phrase "liveblogging" - when used to refer to coverage of a new TV show or a mildly interesting news item - already suggests an urgency the event in question cannot possibly live up to, even before you apply it to the tedious and extremely long-winded process of writing a novel.

That and the discovery of this book makes me think I should rename this project "liveblogging a novel" instead of "how not to write a novel". What do you think? Yeah, YOU. Imaginary reader with the satsuma obsession.

I also had the week off, so decided to aim for 10,000 words rather than my usual 2,500.

I'm rattling through this first draft now, and the combination of the speed and the point I've reached in my story (the CRUNCH before everything spirals out of control) is really helping write it.

Threads of the story are coming together (though some are flapping in the wind a little alarmingly), but at least I can see them, I know where they're going. My ratio of terrible writing versus okay writing is still at about 40:60, which I'm happy with, though it's enough for me to think "WHY AM I BOTHERING? Why am I DOING this? Who will ever want to read THIS?" every other day. I am told that ratio is also not bad.

I have to get used to the fact that my book is not turning out how I imagined. That's exciting, but also a bit disappointing. I can't manage what I set out to do. What I thought I'd write, isn't quite what I have written.

I came across two quotes this week that helped me make sense of that. The first is by Thackeray, one of my favourite authors:

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.

And the other is by Lillian Hellman, who, I admit, I'd never heard of, but who turns out to have lived an extraordinary life entirely unrelated to mayonnaise:

Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped.

Here's hoping that's true.

Word count this week: 8,400 First draft: 110,112