Friday 15th May 2020
I’m still feeling a little glum today. Part of this is this chapter which I need to figure out, but there’s also underlying frustration.
Everything seems to be on hold at the moment. We’re in lockdown. Swordfighting events are being cancelled and I doubt we’ll see any this year. I’m waiting on feedback on the book 1 rewrite as well as a short story submission. I’m trying to get book 2 rewrite done but instead of being something I rattle out, it’s taking its time. I’ve got new book ideas I want to work on.
And on top of all this, I feel myself getting older. Probably massively inflated due to lockdown, I’m very conscious of my own mortality. I have all these books I want to write. Do I have time? I used to be able to write 3 first drafts a year, but I’m slow at editing and need to be faster. It takes me about a month to properly plot out a novel. I’ve seen people do it in days.
Traditional publishing tends to only put one book out a year, and this feels like a finite number of books that are counting down by one with each passing year. I tell myself that I shouldn’t think like this and instead just write them all, be like JRR Tolkien and release books years after my death.
But all that thought is really getting me frustrated and bringing me down.
I can see it for what it is. Everyone has their own form of lockdown anxiety and this seems to be how mine has now manifested itself. I’m kind to myself (allowing myself to have good and bad days) but I hate when it does derail me.
Logic tells me that nothing is going to waste here. My research on story structure has helped me, and using the second Shade Knight book to experiment with it on is going to teach me things that will aid me in years to come. It’s all hidden work that will show its benefits in the years to come.
But I’m having to fight an overriding urge to be faster, to waste less time, to achieve more. That’s driven more by a sense of mortality than lockdown. I can be kind to myself in the short term given the stressful circumstances we all find ourselves in. I’m less kind to myself in the long term where I feel I’m getting close to the point that even (theoretically) writing 3 novels a year I’m going to have to have books I’ll never write.
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