Saturday, July 28, 2018

Be your own fish kettle...

My mind is a bit of a holey sieve right now. I had a big creative burst which kicked off with me writing a junior novel last year over May - October, and then a flurry of new picture books over the first six months of this year. Now I am an empty vessel again, although I am plodding along with an old project currently backtracking to get an asthma inhalor into the shorts pocket of my main character in the first half of the book so he can whip it out to help another character in the second half. Fun and games. Really, this creativity thing just has a mind of its own and a complete lack of discipline. Sometimes I think I'd like it to get its act together, but fear what things would look like if it did. Weirdly I think (at least for me), the 'fits and starts' school of writing has its merits. I write when I've a mind to, don't beat myself up on the days where the word count does not budge an inch, and give myself plenty of opportunities to read and recharge the creative battery in a variety of ways (oh and earn some actual money doing visits and workshops etc., as well). I've come up with some interesting stuff this way and occasionally, in the past, publishers have agreed. Some folk write every day and are immensely disciplined and it works beautifully for them, but I am a completely different kettle of fish. However over the last few years, as the goal of publication has been a bit of a slippery sucker, I have begun to wonder if I should empty my kettle and do some fish rearranging. Well, unsurprisingly, my process has proven pretty stubborn. And when I look at the things I have written in the last 15 months I am not unhappy with them. That's a good place to start as a writer - satisfying your own expectations and desires as a reader.

Still, satisfying oneself is only part of the aim, and chasing the mighty publishing goal never changes. If you thought getting published was the only hurdle to clear, staying published is apparently an endless supply of them. Each time you jump one, the next one is being raised off in the distance. Welcome to the publication race for life. You have to keep running. Don't lose your rhythm or forget to watch where you are going. Seriously, it's never a dull moment. 

Anyways,  it appears I have successfully jumped a few hurdles cleanly, and a few of my more recent projects are to be books (there is even a wolf in one of them!!!! - a long held ambition), so there is a brief stretch of clear track ahead. Yahoo!! Those fish can rest easy in their kettle - I won't be bothering them, at least for a wee while.

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