Sunday journal ~ the other client

I’ve been writing steadily over the past two weeks. That is, I’ve been putting in a couple of hours most days, mostly in cafes. I’ve been treating ‘creative endeavours’ (including ‘cafe writing’) as another client in this new freelance/self-employed life of mine; another client with its own timesheet category. Not only does this log the time I actually spend working on creative endeavours (and give me a target), but it acknowledges creative endeavours as a valid and productive part of each day.

I’ve said many times on this blog that I prefer the revision process to writing the first draft, and nothing has changed my mind yet. The pressure of ‘what the hell is going to happen?’ is replaced with ‘How can this happen better?’.

Right now I’m fairly fixated on the revision and finding it much easier to utilise small time windows. In fact, hitting a cafe for a 2h writing gig seems to be the highlight of my day (despite the fact it’s costing me a small fortune in coffee and eggs!), and is also great for breaking up the work-at-home day, which can get a little tedious.

The revision so far seems to consist of writing new opening/early scenes, which leads to rewriting/re-envisioning existing scenes to fit, while trying desperately to nudge events back on track to line up with the existing scenes that are mostly working. I’m trying not to change scenes for the sake of it, but invariably I can always think of something better than what is already down…

But I’m pretty happy with how it’s going so far. I think the opening sequence is now leaner and cleaner, with better defined objectives, motivations and stakes. I’m focusing on clarifying muddied waters and establishing things deeper.

The new computer (Macbook Air) is going wonderfully well. It has 12+ hours of battery, and I love the way it flashes from standby to on almost instantaneously. This makes it very easy to whip out for even ten minutes at a time. I’m only using it for creative endeavours so far, since the migration of business/work material is something of a task. But that will come soon.

In the meantime, it’s compact and light, making it easy to carry around. In fact, the first time I came back from a cafe I panicked for 5 seconds that I’d left my computer behind, because it’s so thin I couldn’t find it in my bag!

So all is going well in my creative world right now. I love the fact that I want to be working on this novel and it doesn’t feel like a chore at all.

8 comments

  1. I enjoyed this post, Ellen. Sounds like you are in a great place with your writing right now! I agree that writing somewhere out of the house can really break up the monotony of working from home. I’ve been thinking more and more about adding this to my routine.

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    1. I do feel in a good place – thanks, Jill. Getting out of the house has become so important I’m starting to wonder whether it’s a crutch! Ah well, I like to think of it as investing in my writing ~ heh.

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  2. Slightly off topic, but how do you handle doing world building as you rewrite? Ie, you discover you need to create a whole new backstory and name for what amounts to just the single line you’re currently writing.

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    1. Most of the major worldbuilding I try to do upfront, but it’s true there are always things that come up as you’re writing. At the moment I’m putting square brackets around things I want to change or find good words for. Depending on their importance they often don’t need too much in the way of background – although if they become more important I’ll go back and figure stuff out.

      When the time comes, I just sit down with a notebook and brainstorm solutions for the gaps. This is a good activity for a cafe when one doesn’t have time to write or no computer on hand. 🙂

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      1. hehe, I’m a big fan of square brackets myself. I use them for just about anything that stops me writing, such as needing to come up with a specific location or a new character. I dread the inevitable day that will come when I write a page of nothing but square brackets!

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  3. Sounds like the new work life is a boon to your writing. Can’t wait to one day (soon-ish) see your book out in the world.

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