Well, hello. Welcome to Sunday Snippet #1.
My initial week’s effort on NaNoWriMo has been… shall we say… pathetic? I’ve managed a paltry 87 words. But I now have 87 more words than I had on 31 October so I’m taking that as a (minor) win.
Today, there’s been a lot of looking at the computer, then getting up to make a(nother) coffee and reviewing what’s happened on Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, and Pinterest. At least that’s what I was doing until I grounded myself from my devices (the iPad and the iPhone are now far away in my bedroom) and sat down to write my Snippet.
This week’s Snippet is about book-induced anxiety. Maybe book-exacerbated, not book-induced. Anyway, let me explain.
I drive to work… and while I drive I usually listen to audio-books. I also usually listen to them as I fall asleep (it’s like the adult version of someone reading you a story! Awesome). Sometimes those books are new to me, sometimes they’re books I’ve already read and loved. At the beginning of this week I was listening to Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren.
You need to know that I LOVE ♥ this book.
It’s not the first time I’ve read it – with my eyes or with my ears and Christina Lauren are two of my FAVOURITE authors (and even though I’m not the prettiest I’ve ever been in the photo to the right, I had to include it because… OMG, Christina Lauren ♥).
If you’ve read it, you’ll know that our main
character, Lola (or Lorelei) gets caught up in trying to balance all the new facets of her life after college – publication of her graphic novel, the translation of that graphic novel into a feature film and the transition of her relationship with our favourite Aussie (even though the male voice artist in the Audible narration does a terrible Aussie accent) from friends to lovers.
I’m happily listening away… Christina Lauren write some great sex in this book – and then we get to the part where it all starts to go wrong. I’m listening as I’m falling asleep and I have one of the worst night’s sleep EVER. Followed up by one of the most anxious drives to work I’ve had in the 11 months or so I’ve been at this job.
Now, I don’t think this is completely Christina Lauren’s fault.
I know I’m already a bit on the anxious side at the moment. I’m trying to manage a team of six people through a project that involves encouraging managers to performance manage staff who have never been performance managed before. Some of the team like me… some don’t… and I’m not loving the project (lots of people setting expectations without thinking the consequences all the way through… but I digress). I’m also trying to polish/finish a manuscript for submission to publishers, have two short stories on deadline (one for an anthology and one for a competition), my uncle’s coming to stay for a week, neither of my parents are 100% healthy and I’m having surgery at the beginning of December. Oh, and I probably drink too much coffee and Donald Trump still thinks he can be President of the USA (please, USA, get your act together here… I love you and you’re making me nervous).
But I’ve never had quite as strong a reaction to a book – and I knew what was coming!
Reading that, though, and having that reaction, makes me want to perfect my craft. It makes me want to sit down at the computer and write all the words that will make a reader feel something – whether that’s anxiety or that tingly feeling you get when you meet a new guy or that amazing sensation you get when someone loves you or that sadness you get when you think all is lost. It also makes me scared that I’ll never quite manage it, that my work won’t go deep enough, won’t be honest enough, won’t have the heart that makes the reader feel all the things.
So, maybe that’s why my writing’s been a bit stymied this week.
But now, it’s time for dinner and then I’ll sit down and have one more run at the manuscript tonight. Here’s hoping for some wordy progress!
See you next Sunday for Snippet #2.