Well that was certainly taxing. Using every last scrap of my lunch breaks, all the clusters of minutes between responsibilities, and right down to burning the midnight oil, Adaptation – Part 5 is ready for pre-release. It’s a hard trot reading over the same thing again and again, checking for grammar, looking at spelling, making sure sentences are formed correctly. I’m at the point now where if I never saw another computer monitor in my life, I’d be content. I can only imagine what the drafting, proofing, editing cycle would be like without a keyboard.
I looked up from my screen just now and realised that, come tomorrow, I’m not officially working on a book. It’s an odd sensation, liberating and scary at the same time. It’s like my engine is still gunning hard and I just dropped my foot on the clutch – zzzzing!
Even now I’m itching to think that there might have been a few things I missed in the proof, a couple of points that need emphasising or whatever, and that’s were I’ve gone wrong in the past: I didn’t allow for a cool down time, a bit of a mental break to allow myself to step away from the story, forget what I knew so that I could approach it again with fresh eyes some time later.
And so, to catch the free-wheeling energy that’s zinging around in my skull, and enforce my cool down with respect to Adaptation, I’m going to get cracking on the third installment of the Paranormology series. There are a few other stories that I’m really hoping to get writing on as well, but as I’ve only got two hands, one for each side of the keyboard, a decision has to be made. That is the discipline of a writer, I have come to learn: Jot down your thoughts as they come, expand on them if you need to, if a wild and exciting idea comes bounding your way, but don’t lose focus of getting those words down.
Don’t get me wrong: Letting one’s imagination run rampant is a necessary part of creativity, for sure, in fact I’d argue that without time to bust boundaries and think the un-thought, any creative exercise becomes stifled.
With that in mind, there is a time and a place for all things, a Balance, if you will. For while new, fun stories are great rolling around inside a skull, they simply cannot be realised until they worm their way out of a mouth, or transcribe themselves through a brush or a keyboard. If your mind is anything like mind, there are simply too many stories to play with (think minions) and, sadly, some will be neglected and forgotten. As a consequence, one is impelled to leave the wonderful, amazing and sometimes scary world that exists within one’s skull, and take with them a selection of the flora and fauna to share with the outside world.
This requires, too, respect for the reader. The ability to finish what one starts is an admirable trait, and while I do believe a book should take as long as it should, that mantra cannot be used as an excuse to fluff about on frivolous tasks. It can be so easy, believe you me, to have so many things on the go that even though you’re mentally and physically exhausted, you’ve not actually gotten any one thing completed. Which reminds me of a Scrum training session I visited recently…
Bah! Enough with the introspection! I’m off to celebrate with a well deserved coffee and a sit-down with a good dose of pulp fiction.