I’m taking a break from the novel this week. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have managed to fill a major gap, but when I started to look at a couple of other chapters that needed a reshape, I found myself getting a sinking, sludgy feeling that I didn’t like one bit. So, I’ve decided to step back from my first draft and let it sit for a while before I look at it again.
One of the downsides of writing a novel is that other areas of creative work can suffer. I know of many writers who write novels and manage to complete short stories, poems etc in their spare time. I am not one of them. I have written a handful of poems and half a short story since beginning work on my novel, which doesn’t amount to very much.
The good news is I’ve taken a look at the short story, given it a brisk edit and managed to breathe life back into it. Months ago, I set it aside, thinking I had ‘ruined it’ with some contrived dialogue and a few overwritten paragraphs. It just shows that time can often bring clarity to tricky projects. Now, I just have to decide what happens next!
When it comes to poetry, I’ve particularly noticed the absence in my writing life as it’s such an immediate, rhythmic form that usually comes very naturally to me and always makes my heart sing. It’s definitely time to start belting out some notes again . . .
And speaking of music, I recently put together a list of upbeat songs, mainly quite current, including: George Ezra, Kasabian and Paloma Faith. The only trouble with these songs is that they don’t have the ‘sing along’ quality that some of my old favourites have. So over the past few days I’ve been revisiting some U2 and I’m sure George Michael will be next . . . Subsequently, I’ve noticed that my vocal range is much lower than it used to be and my voice has a tendency to wobble, which suggests that I haven’t actually exercised it in months!
I find singing quite a mood booster, so it might explain why I haven’t felt quite like myself of late. It seems this novel has distracted me from many of my usual pursuits. As I’m expecting a baby and I’m looking forward to singing to him / her, I’d better start including some vocal activity in my daily routine again!