Monday, 19 January 2009

Last night while the rain came down...

... I got writing again. It feels good to get writing. The blank laptop screen is almost as intimidating as the blank canvas, in truth, but once one faces up to it and starts, it is, like the blank canvas, not an enemy but a friend.
I'm working on something I first thought of years ago - unlike "Gabriel Yeats", it's more of a SF story (go on, laugh, I won't see you...), but I hope it will work. Early days yet. My principal worry at the moment is that on jumping in I have written possibly my thinnest chapter one ever - but there's plenty of time to rewrite and revise, goodness knows. It isn't as if the world is waiting on tenterhooks for my latest ouevre, after all. But I was using a technique for breaking through the paralysis induced by that blank screen (& the blank sheet of paper I used to use was just as bad) - a technique called "just write something". Be grateful I am not Mortmain, and am not going to write "The cat sat on the mat" forty times. (If you haven't read "I capture the castle", by Dodie Smith, then do - unless you're a guy - I don't think it's a guy's book, somehow). But however facetiously Dodie Smith may have used the idea, it is basically a sound one. Getting started means you have less to lose, and you can get on to the interesting part of trying to say what you want to say; in my case, simply trying to tell a story. I started "Gabriel Yeats", incidentally, with the scene at Victoria Station, and wrote through to the end of the WW1 sequence, and then went right back to the beginning from there. Crazy, maybe, but it worked for me.
I know - I should be working on the second revision for "Gabriel Yeats"; and I'm rushing off on something new instead. This is called displacement activity, I believe, and it's a common problem for the creative individual. At least I have the excuse that my displacement activity is itself creative!
More rain now - at least here I'm not at home, so it isn't quite so loud. My attic ceiling at home sounds like being inside a timpani when it rains... Can't wait to get home and get on with it, now I've started. There are two other things on the back burner at the moment, but for now I seem to have channeled my interest into this. At the moment, tentative working title is "Fortitude and Tulear", except I'm referring to it myself as something else, in my head, which doesn't bode well for that as a working title! The title in my head is even worse, though, so I won't bewilder you with it.
Going to go home, put on some music (Schubert lieder, last night), and get on. Oh, the buzz of anticipation! The Muse is a funny creature, and I wonder if I'll ever know what really turns her on (at least it isn't cutting off heads - see previous entry!). But for now, at least, she is turned on; very much turned on. It feels like an electric current inside me; as if, if I were to touch someone, just now, I might give them a small shock...

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