Tag Archives: fun

Why can’t writing be fun?

Phil: For the last few weeks, the Nolan has enjoyed a break from the daily grind which has seen us meeting up on a weekly basis for chatting and in theory, writing.

Truth is, there has been a lot more talking than typing. We’ve done a reasonable amount of planning but progress on Book 3 has been limited.

Both of us have had things other than writing on our minds and since we are mates, we talk about them. Afterwards, we both feel better, not just through the effects of tea and cake either!

I suppose we should feel guilty about this, and we do. But not much.

Writing is great. We’re really proud of the books produced so far, and looking forward to seeing how the next ones work out. But it’s not everything to either of us. We have lives as well.

Does this make us bad?

Some authors take great pride in hitting daily word targets. Writing has, we are told, got to be a painful process. Only by travelling through the fire, can you forge a book worthy of the name.

Well, sorry, but no.

You can’t write light chick-lit fiction if your day is spent agonising over every word. Our style is humorous and if you analyse every single line to death then you’ll suck all the fun out of it. Worse, you’ll create something so convoluted that any reader will need another book just to explain the one they are reading. We don’t want anyone opening ours to have to suffer. I know that “proper” literature is all about this, but we’ll steer clear of that thank you very much. Editing and polishing is one thing, agonising is another and enduring it doesn’t make you a better person.

Taking time to step back and look at what we are doing, we’ve worked out that for us, the journey is part of the fun. Yes, we’d love people to read an enjoy what we produce, but why shouldn’t it simply be a pleasurable activity?

Progress would be quicker if we knuckled down and got on with things, but maybe this isn’t everything. Perhaps the journey should be as pleasurable as the destination.

As it is, the weekly meet-ups are over. Candice has a posh new job and my work is going through one of its periodic explosions of demand. For the minute, tea, cake and finishing the book will have to be a dream, but, as Captain Sensible once said, “You’ve got to have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, how you going to have a dream come true?”

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I need some fun

Candice: This weekend has been another round of madness in the Nolan house.

We went to a first birthday party on Saturday and then the other half was sorting the redecorating of a bedroom for most Sunday so I was in charge of entertainment.

While someone was napping Sunday afternoon I enjoyed some quality me time in the sun (yes Spring seems to have finally appeared) reading the paper.

But when it gets to Sunday night I am frustrated, as yet again it is another weekend where I haven’t done anything as an adult.

What didn’t help was the fact my sister was off for a week abroad with the other half and my hubby had been out on the razzle on Friday night.

So I’ve decided its time for some fun.  The change in the weather is also driving my need for something that involves drinking and dancing, as the lighter evenings mean I don’t feel so tired.  Its time for some Prosecco on the Patio!

So I’ve texted some of my girlie mates about a night out.  Since most of us have become parents we seem to have lost the ability to want to go out and just let our hair down. Girls only means that we don’t have to find babysitters so that’s not an issue, but money and generally feeling tired is.

So far I haven’t had much response but I am counting my chickens that someone will take up the gauntlet and get me out of my funk.

Ginger CakeWhen Phil and I met for lunch today we were also discussing feeling a bit down about things. We both admitted to loosing our writing mojo as the book hasn’t taken off quite as we wanted and we are feeling the ‘what is the point of writing book two’.  I am sure that this comes to us all, as having an audience for your work motivates you to write more.  Having some appreciation makes it all worth while.

But I think we have managed to lift ourselves with some plans for marketing and taking time to write.  We also have Stratford Literary Festival looming and need to prepare our spiel.

So with some cake in our bellies we set off into the bright sunshine with some new hope.

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Focussing on why we are doing this

FocusPhil: Tuesday saw the first of our Book 2 deadlines pass and as Candice commented, we missed it. Fortunately she’s still so mellow from her holiday that we’ve agreed to just move the deadline 6 months.

A deadline has been useful in motivating us to get words on paper but ultimately, the only people who care are us. And if we say the deadline can move, it can move. It all comes down to why we are doing this.

I think we do it because writing a story is fun. When we sit around a table talking about plot lines we both come alive. This isn’t just the sugar rush from the cake we’re stuffing ourselves with, bouncing ideas around is really, really fun.

OK, so the fun has to come to an end and serious writing has to begin but once the keyboard hammering is done, there is the delight of waiting to see what the other half of the team thinks of the new words, or the fun of reading something new featuring our characters. Sometimes the story evolves in a different direction to the discussions and that’s good too.

So, we need a deadline and will try to stick to it but for the moment, life gets in the way for both of us.

Serious entrepreneurs would argue that a laser-like focus on the project is the key to success. That’s fine but Phil’s still gotta eat so paid work needs to come first. After that I’ve a project that may in time become proper paid work to gobble my time. For the moment then, neither of us expects to be able to live off the proceeds of The Book. Well, at least not if the Nolan shoe and bag budget isn’t to take a massive hit anyway.

Does it matter? Money isn’t everything and writing fiction provides a different sort of reward. Maybe in an ideal world, we’d both chuck work in and become full-time authors.

But I wonder if that would take some of the fun out of it?

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