I’ve been buried in writing a book since January. This year I have made a conscious effort to complete, hone and polish a novel that has been on my mind for years.
On the 1st January, I made my excuses from my family for a couple of hours, went upstairs and made a start. Those 800 words came slowly. All of them have since been rewritten. But I put a marker down.
9 months on. I’m still going. If this book was a baby, I would’ve given birth to it by now. I’ve written it. I’ve revised it. I’ve rewritten it. I’ve edited it. Numerous drafts. Numerous iterations. Numerous ideas.
All of these things have one thing in common. They don’t get achieved without what I have termed – “arse in the chair time”.
At times, including most recently yesterday, this process has been exhausting and confidence crushing. The old cliche of not seeing the wood from the trees has been at the forefront of my mind. I’ve spent a few weeks staring at nothing but leaves and fucking twigs. Now, finally, I am starting to see sunlight peeking through them.
Today I read a story about a professional athlete, who I won’t name for various reasons. (The guy is an elite athlete but seems reprehensible in his private life.) His daughter came 4th in a tournament she really wanted to win and was given a trophy. She wanted to throw the trophy in the bin. Instead he put the trophy on her bedroom shelf so it was the first thing she saw when she woke up. Rather than something to forget, it became something to better and to improve upon.
As he said to her. “You can either cry about it, or be about it.”
We all have our down days. Days it seems too hard, too much work. Whether it’s writing or something else we strive to improve at. It’s not about avoiding those days, it’s about how you respond to them.
I’m back at the keyboard again today. I must be about it.
Time to crack on again.