Thursday, 12 October 2017

Writer's Diary | #1

It's Thursday, 12th October, 10:23 a.m.

I am sat in my back garden wrapped in a robe with a cup of tea, a tall glass of orange juice, and a bottle of water listening to one of my favourite songs of all time: Old Pine by Ben Howard.

The sky was pretty grey a few hours ago, but just now the clouds parted and a soft blue sky has appeared. The sun is shining bright, and a soft, gentle breeze is playing with my hair and the leaves on the trees. I can hear birds twittering constantly amongst them. A few auburn leaves are scattered across the grass but my garden is still very much green. Autumn is hesitant to show its colours this year.

It's a beautiful morning.

I'm working on the first draft of my novel. I've just started the 24th chapter, and I'm struggling to figure out where I want this chapter to go, and what important thing is going to happen. The important thing that ties in with all the chapters that have gone before and all the chapters yet to come. The important thing that is of course different in every chapter but vital in each one.

I'll figure it out, I always do. Sometimes I can write consecutive chapters in a go without having to stop and plan, and rethink. The momentum of the plot drives me until I run out of steam, and when I run out of steam I hit a frustrating block. That's when I open up my notebook, poise my pen on the faint lines and begin writing. Eventually, through words, and sentences, and arrows, and rhetorical questions the narrative of the next chapter begins to emerge and once again I find my footing. So I put fingers to keyboard and start typing.

I'm hoping that's what will happen again in a few minutes when I tell myself off for procrastinating via blogging and get back to planning my 24th chapter.

I guess the reason why this block is a little harder than all its predecessors is because I am working my novel towards its finale. I am winding it down. And this process requires so much precision, gentility, and careful thought. The last thing I want to do is rush these last ten or so chapters and diminish the impact of all the work that has gone before them.

And because alongside the winding down of the narrative I want to convey a message, and I want to do that message justice.

I dare to dream of success as a writer. I dare to dream that this book I am writing, this book that I love so much already despite its flaws, I dare to dream of it on display in bookshops, and on the well-worn shelves of bibliophiles across the globe.

I dare to dream that someday a teenage girl, or a young woman will pick it up and read it, and she will be sat on her bed wrapped in a warm blanket, or in a cafe or a park, and as she reads the last few chapters of my novel I dare to dream that she will be moved by my words. That the clutter of the cafe or the noise of the park will suddenly disappear as her world becomes centred on the words I have written, as the message I attempt to convey reaches the softest parts of her heart.

I want these last few chapters to be poignant, and thoughtful, and life-changing, for my characters as well as my readers.

And that's why I'm struggling to write them.

But it's time that I sign off here, and face my blank page once again. I must write the 24th so I can write the 25th and so on, until my book and I are ready to present ourselves to the world.

Until next time, friends.

10:50 a.m.

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