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When a ‘day off’ writing means writing my novel March 28, 2012

Posted by mattfarmer in Copy writing, writing.
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I was joking around yesterday saying – hey! I have a day off writing! I am going to do my novel! It was all funny, until I thought – no that is the wrong way of thinking about my novel. It is not something I put aside for downtime, or casual writing Fridays. It is a piece of writing which deserves its own importance along with the rest of my collective workings.

The reason I felt like this, however, was after week of writing a tender for a furniture company, it felt easier to sit in the realm of fiction writing. Don’t get me wrong, I loved doing the tender writing gig. I literally spent 10 hours writing on Tuesday last week. I had emails and discussions going back and forth with the client, with re-writes, additions, and such. I was even working on the weekend to get my BNI Newsletter out. I also arrived home on Monday night, after a terrible game of basketball, to find an email requesting a complete table of contents and that they needed the document first thing in the morning, Tuesday.

It was a lot of work, and work I enjoyed. I don’t think I have worked that hard, as a writer, for a long time. I am now holding my writer’s breath until May, I think, to when the Tender results are in. That will be a measure of how successful I was in my efforts. Not the only measure, since I stuck to the task, wrote a lot of hours and got the job done, on time and as the client requested.

I got a few thousand words out with my novel though. It felt good. I had left it for a week, and I was feeling a little guilty, but it was nice to know it was still waiting for me. Strange language to use, I know, but sometimes, when you leave a piece of writing for too long, it can seem like a stranger to you and you have to read it again, to get to know it, before you can engage with it again.

I have had to find another editor today. My previous editor has now become unavailable. Good luck to her I say. My new editor works for lollipops, free books and the chance to pick my brain. I think she is getting the better half of this deal.

I am at the final part of the story now. Re-writing has been a positive experience for me. I have been merciless in the cutting of chaff. Two pages explaining a dead character’s history and family? GONE! Physical comedy about waking up and banging your head on the side of the boat? GONE! Long conversation about motives for being in Thunderfall? HALF GONE! And while I love a bit of fluff, I can see the story is actually moving along at a faster pace, a better pace. This is good. I am building a better book, rather than just changing words in the story as I rewrite.