Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ideas are cats...

After my first picture book was published (Clever Moo in 2006) I suffered what I think is typical of all newbie authors - the dread fear of pirate Roberts being a one hit wonder (assuming that your first book is some kind of hit ... but that's another story). We've finally submitted something that ticked all the boxes and got the nod. It wasn't one hurdle, it was the 110metre hurdle race and we jumped every one and crossed the finish line. Could I repeat that feat? Thankfully I graduated past that fear. But fear, along with a good dose of insecurity and guilt, is the norm for writers (and I believe, illustrators). We just seem to graduate through a series of them. We are only as good as our last book. Folk seem a little taken with my last book (for which I am extremely grateful). and I have a new title out in Augustish (hmmm, waiting on illustrations) and another new title out July next year (so close and yet so far). But I have no ideas for new projects. If you want to apply for anything - funding grants, residencies etc... you need to show them your flash, shiny, must-happen, brand-spanking, new never-seen-before project. And knowing, as I do, the lead time from idea to writing, to editing, to submission, to rejection/acceptance, to editing and proofing and approval, to publication; a new idea soon would be handy. But my brain is an empty vessel. As I have discovered, you can't hurry ideas. They are like cats. They stand at the back door to go out...and come in...and go out... Cats have their own view of time. They have their own agenda and their agenda will always be more important than your agenda. They grace us with their presence. They only come when they are not called. You get the cat idea.

So I'm sitting here patiently waiting for the cat to come curl up on my lap.

2 comments:

Jane Bloomfield said...

Try the Pomodoro Technique. Set timer for thirty mins. Start writing. Anything, but don't stop. When buzzer goes off (you will be begging for this to happen) have a five min break. Then reset for another thirty mins. I did this three times for a day. Then on the second day out poured 3,392 words exactly, without trying! You never know, you're cat might just be out hunting...

Old Kitty said...

I couldn't agree more! Cats so understand the creative process of writing! So true! Take care
x