Tuesday 13th June 2017
There’s part of me that feels like The Climb is very repetitive at the moment. For what seems like a long time (but in reality is probably 3 or 4 days) I’ve been reporting on the edits, how I find it tough but also fun and how I am soldiering on.
But thinking about it, I think this will be very interesting to come back to. Only a few weeks ago I was driving around the US and Canada chasing storms and yet, the tone of The Climb feels very different to that now.
I guess it all goes through phases, and at some point in the distant future it’s going to be interesting to look back and see that progression.
I did a lot of editing today. I’m about 50 pages into the 725 or so pages that I need to do. That’s thanks in part to a lot of work this evening, coupled with a lot of easy changes. I owe a couple of people emails but I’ve ignored them in favour of trying to make progress away from the difficult start.
I’m still not 100% about the beginning of the novel. I plan to go back over it at the end. One of the emails I owe a reply to was from a friend offering to take a look at it for me, which I will likely take up. I’ve got another friend ready to do a sanity read at the end as well.
Despite all the hard work, I’m actually feeling pretty good at the moment. On a micro level there’s plenty I’m worried about: I’m still not back to the weight I want following Chasepalooza; I’m not happy with my swordfighting and there’s less than a month until Astolat; I still worry about the start of this novel.
Yet, at a macro level, I feel everything is going well. More importantly I feel that it’s going to plan. To accompany me during the day job today I’ve been listening to a few podcasts. They were all talking about success in various fields, and I was interested to hear the similarities, the patterns. All of the people interviewed seemed to have a gut feeling that things would be alright, whether it be being penniless with an idea or knowing the moment they started something that it would all work out.
I felt a bit like that today. Maybe it was just positive re-enforcement from the podcasts, but I think it comes from my agent talking about my professional approach to the edits. It made me realise that I’ve got a clear idea of my path ahead, and whilst I can’t predict whether Black as Knight will be a stellar hit or a complete flop that no publisher will take on, I know that I’ve done everything I possibly can to succeed.
It seems arrogant to say – but I believe in being honest – but today I genuinely felt there was nothing more I could be doing to set myself up for success. I wouldn’t say I feel I deserve it, but I feel sharp. I feel like all the ingredients are there, and just like chasing the perfect storm set up, it’s just a case of being patient and waiting to see if the tornado touches down.
And that feeling extends all the way back to the fact that I feel The Climb seems quite repetitive to me right now. It should do. I’m trying to get edits done. It’s a big piece of work that will take multiple days.
And whilst I won’t have lost weight, or perfected my swordfighting or got these edits done by tomorrow, every day I’m making progress.
I joked today that my problem is that it’s not good enough to do one impossible thing, I have to do three. People tell me all the time that I should focus on one but they don’t understand. I realise I can’t justify it to people because we’re just not wired the same way.
I used to think this was because I was wrong but I’ve come to realise that this is just who I am. The reason I succeed in so much I do isn’t because I’m better organised, it isn’t because I’m more driven, or more focused, or more stubborn.
It’s because I am a mix of all those things to various degrees.
It’s taken me a long time to learn to trust myself and it’s only come about because friends enabled me to look back and see what I’ve managed to accomplish in the past.
In these podcasts, people were asked whether they knew, and almost all of them said they did. The big unanswered questions were when and how.
I understand that so very well at the moment. I feel readier than I’ve ever felt, but that doesn’t mean my time is now.
I want to be able to point to this issue of The Climb when someone, one day, asks me that question. Then I can say,
“Yes, I knew.”
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.
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