Wednesday 21st February 2018
One of the things my agent always stresses on me is the need for agency. A character needs to be doing things, rather than have things happen to them.
Whilst early drafts can be guilty of forgetting that, it’s something I do believe in enough that I apply it to my own life. I always need to be doing something, improving myself in one way or another, whether it be working on a new idea or new skills that can help support myself. So I might go down a rabbit hole of learning about social media for a couple of weeks, but the net result will be things that should help my marketing going forwards.
I should always be moving forwards, which is why times like this are incredibly frustrating.
The injured finger still hurts, is still unusable. I find it difficult to type, to drive. There’s no way, even with the best hand protection in the world, that I can fight any sort of two-handed weapon system. Heck, I find one handed hard enough. And to make matters worse, I really do feel like it’s starting to get infected.
The net result is that I’m not looking forward to my competitions this weekend. They were meant to be a way to pick myself up after last year’s tournament disappointment. I eased myself into the year after forcing myself to take a break. And then with the finger injury I’ve been forced to stop.
I think stopping was a sensible idea. As much I miss that part of me that would just strap up the hand and battle on, I think given the seriousness of the injury I’ve done the right thing. Nothing is lost by taking a forced break. Better I get myself well and come back – literally – fighting. But I’m so frustrated at my lack of momentum at the moment.
Perhaps there’s a lesson in humility in all this. Perhaps I can use it as a reminder that nothing is given, everything has to be fought for, and no-one is beyond crashing out on their arse. I always say that the writing and the swordfighting are connected, so perhaps there’s a lesson here ready for when a book bombs or an advance isn’t anywhere near what I hoped.
It doesn’t help that I’m currently at the stage where I’ve pretty much done everything I can with my writing. Book 1 is with my agent and awaiting feedback. Book 2 has been drafted and beta read but needs some rewriting once I know whether an editor or my agent wants further changes. And Book 3 is being sketched out with the aim of getting a synopsis. Anything more would be a waste as small changes in book 1 will have bigger impact on book 2 which could mean major changes in book 3.
So it’s not so much that I’m at a crossroads, but have done everything I can. Maybe I should look at it that I’m prepared, I’m ready… but I just feel restless. I want to get book 1 out there, I want to get book 2 revised, I want to come up with an awesome book 3. And I want to fight. I want to love it as much as I did and make myself better.
I long for agency, and perhaps it’s there, in the background. But with my nose against the grindstone, I just can’t see it right now.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
- Twitter: @figures
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