Phil: I’m in the process of trying to extricate myself from a project at the moment. It’s all under discussion so I can’t say more on the specifics other than it’s a big project and would involve much writing.
I took it on over a year ago as it seemed like a good idea at the time. The problem is I really can’t get in to the job. After producing about a third of the text the rest seems like a mountain far too steep to climb. Planning sessions in the pub haven’t helped like they usually do – even with a list of sections to complete I sit at the screen with paralysed fingers. Honestly, I’ve never been so stuck.
All this has taught me something about myself.
Firstly, I need colleagues for sizable projects. I couldn’t have written The Book without Candice. We spurred each other on. Ideas were bounced around and imaginations fired. That’s what keeps the interest going. How anyone completes a novel on their own is beyond me.
Second, I need to care. Writing can’t just be work – plodding away poking the keyboard for a few hours won’t do the job. I’ve been told that you can tell how I feel about a project by reading the way I write it up, some just have a certain joie de vivre and sparkle that others lack. None of the work is bad, just some communicates a joy that others don’t.
This is why, despite a slight hiatus, I still bang on about The Book. We wrote it because the story was strong and the characters became friends. I can still read bits and marvel that I wrote them, even if it was with help. We wrote this with passion and therefore it is good. I look forward to the day when time will allow the rest of the series to be written. I want to see how things work out.
Sometimes writing is hard. At that point you should probably stop – the results will at best be leaden. When writing is easy, when words tumble from your head like Smarties from an upended tube.
That’s when the good stuff is created.
That’s what the readers will enjoy.
They can read dull stuff all day long – it’s what spreadsheets were created for.
What they want to read is passion on a page.