It is time for me to ‘Nourish the Inner Writer’. I had to take myself aside the other day and tell myself, ‘You can’t do everything, Grasshopper. Take a step back and have some quiet time’.
I feel like I have been running on the spot since I went back to work in February. Teaching three subjects was fun, I enjoyed the students and I learnt so much, you always do when you teach. This time it was Academic Essay Writing, Interactive Narrative (for computer games) and Script writing & Storyboards. But this meant there were assignments to mark every three weeks or so, because we run an accelerated course and it was the marking that got to me. I’ve just finished a week of marking to get everything done in time for moderation.
All this wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t had to edit my three books in the same 12 weeks. The books come out a month apart starting in June. Over here at the ROR blog I’ve done a post about the editing process. The short version is that each book has to be edited 3-4 times before it goes to the printer and each book is over 100,000 words. I’m up to the page proofs of book two (that’s the last one before it goes to the printer) and I just sent back the copy edits (that’s the second last one) of book three. So I’m nearly done.
On top of this I’ve been trying to write the first book of my Australindia series, which is really exciting, but completely new — new world, new characters etc. I find writing a first draft requires dedicated time at the computer because I have to get into the headspace where the characters and the world come to life. And I just haven’t had blocks of time to do this. It’s made me feel guilty and slightly edgy, because the story keeps calling me back. The characters are getting ‘ansty’. (That’s Australian slang for a bit ‘aggro’, sorry another bit of Australian slang, but I’m sure you can work out what it means).
Feeling guilty because your book characters are getting neglected must be a specifically writerly phenomenon. Trent Jamieson’s done a post about it here. You have to give yourself permission to take time off to recharge the batteries.
So that’s what I’ve done. I’m going to take time off. The next term starts on the last day of May. I have a very small window of opportunity. Daryl and I are going to run away to Tasmania for a driving holiday. It’s not quite as romantic as it sounds because we have to take our youngest son (15) with us. But I am really looking forward to being visually stimulated. Tasmania is lovely. And I’m taking my laptop with me. I plan to write in the evenings. No marking, no deadlines, no large family to run about. Heaven!
So that is how I plan to nourish the Inner Writer. How do you Nourish your Inner whatever it may be?