Stuff happens faster when you’re falling
Yesterday I finished a rewrite that began as a final edit following previous corrections to revisions of a novel I first drafted in 2016. Don’t congratulate me – I expected to arrive here in April.
I’m asking myself how I can speed up. Which in practice means I’m asking Gonzo (my creative mind) and Sniffy Neg (my inner critic). Who are ever so ‘helpful’.
Gonzo: We should let go of everything. The wordcounts the deadlines the direction the goals the rules. Just. Let. Go. Stuff happens faster when you’re falling. Whoopee!
Sniffy Neg: Ha! I would enjoy the sound of her splat. I’d suggest we give Peopling a miss. Nobody really likes her anyway. That’ll free up some time.
Gonzo: They do like her, silly. And I like the Peoples. They’re made of stories.
Sniffy Neg: They’re more interesting than she is, I’ll give you that.
Me: You know I’m here, right?
Sniffy Neg: By the annoying tippy-tappy-typing sound. Yes.
Gonzo: I think we should give up ProperJob. It is only dusty cogworks and longlists, and it is hardly ever funny.
Me: Okay, we need to keep ProperJob to its proper proportions, but we also need to eat.
Sniffy Neg: Overeat, you mean. Oh, you could ditch the whatchamacallit, the joggling, the wibbly-wobbling, the flouncing about and getting puffed out. Exercise. It isn’t having much effect.
Me: What if it isn’t a shortage of time that’s slowing me down? What if it’s the way I do writing?
Sniffy Neg: You’re saying it’s all your fault? Interesting. Do go on.
Me: There were the scenes I tried to make work by tweaking, tickling and reworking for ages – when it would have been much quicker to start again from a blank screen.
Gonzo: Yay! Imagimaking!
Me: Then I tried to make characters want and feel things they didn’t, so they went on strike or sabotaged the plot in revenge.
Sniffy Neg: *golf claps* That was genuinely stupid.
Me: And why did I make the storytelling so complicated. Points in time, points of view-
Gonzo: I did that! Fun-fun-fun-fun-fun!
Me: Yeah, it was fun. Not always, thanks to Sniffy, but often.
Gonzo: Super extra long-lasting happytimes. Hooray for me!
Me: Hm. You mean, writing takes as long as it needs to. Enjoy the ride.
Sniffy Neg: Frankly, you might as well. It’s not as though anyone’s waiting.
Me: Seems like we almost agree, for once. Sorry, but I’m still going to set a goal for November.
Gonzo: I don’t mind. I’ll ignore it.
Sniffy Neg: While I shall remind you of it constantly. That’s settled then.
Gonzo: You’re not going to let Sniffy have the last word are you?
Me: What would you like the last word to be?
Gonzo: Ooh, erm, ghemboles*!
*Ghemboles are merry pranks, of course.
Photograph by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash