Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here's what makes me happy

Thinking about happiness, what it means for me, it's not the hourly check on Amazon UK to see where I am ranked. It's not reading the few reviews of my book that have said lovely things. It's not submitting stories to magazines and competitions.


It's reading my own writing. That makes me so happy. Maybe because it shows me I can. Maybe because I write mostly for myself, I write the sorts of things I want to read, and so my writing is tailor-made for me and I love it, love all my "children", even if they are a little bent and squished.

I haven't written anything for a while (see earlier Distraction post), and have been very reluctant to even visit my works-in-progress. A real physical reluctance, stemming from a "What if they are really actually awful?" But I just managed to fight all procrastination and take a look at the one work-in-progress that I am the most excited about, a piece of writing that is undefined, a novelty for me. I have been trying to write a film script, I have a great idea for a beginning, but no more. So instead of plotting it out etc.., I thought I would get to know my protagonist a bit better, follow her around. This is what this "piece of writing" is, me "riffing". And because I hadn't defined it with any weighty titles like "short story" or "plot synopsis", I let myself go, I wrote loosely, I had fun.

I just read what I've written, 2880 words, which (as those of you who know me will appreciate) is very very long! And I have just got to, in screenplay terms, the "inciting incident". And I love it. The voice is different from anything I've done before, it's not my protagonist's voice, it's a fairly sarky omniscient narrator who is hopping around into various people's heads. It's fun. But it's also got what I was trying to get at, a kind of darkly comic aspect. To me, anyway. This makes me very happy. And I didn't put any pressure on myself to write. Just read it.

Lovely. I feel all warm and fuzzy now. Why don't I do this more often? (ahhh, the nagging voice....)


christopop said...

Hi, Tania, and congratulations for finding just the exact word, "riffing" for these moments when "stuff" is not exactly being verbalised, but is being allowed the freedom to roam where it will. I probably do too much of the same which is why in "published" terms I am so unprolific. It also suits my jazzer's butterfly-mind.

I envy you your feeling of content (if that is the word) in delighting in what you have just assembled to today's satisfaction - is it at all like "birth", do you imagine? I thought I should ask a woman, even though that is being terribly sexist.

Connie Keenan said...

I feel ya!! Sounds really familiar, especially being distracted. My WIP has been interrupted a few times this year, too. But chin up--we're still here! Good luck & great post!