New shoes

Stick, twist or fold? The angst of the unproven writer. With apologies for navel-gazing and lack of tomfoolery.

I’ve been struggling a bit for motivation recently – I haven’t written anything new for a while and I haven’t been running in almost a month. The burden of freedom is choice – I hope someone more eloquent (or leoquent, as I originally typed – I had a vision of someone with Leo Sayer-sized hair ‘lalalaing’ at their keyboard) said that at some point and I’ve just assimilated it. Otherwise, I’ve got a cork up my backside. Anyway, one of the unforeseen problems of being self-employed is that I must make my own horizon, chart my own path. Sometimes I can see for miles, other times it feels like I’m standing at the mouth of a labyrinth.

It’s funny how weekends and bank holidays become meaningless. Even the hours in the day lose their impact – it’s really a matter of how much others expect to interact with you (says the wannabe hermit).

The major writing dilemma I face (the running one is simply manning up to running in the rain/snow/sub-optimal mud/road/tarmac mix) is over Tom’s Universe. If, as seems increasingly likely, I can’t garner any interest from agents – let alone publishers – then I need to make the classic poker decision – stick, twist or fold? Do I simply send the same material out to other agents? Revise what I’ve done? Or start something new? I’m not really sure which is harder (I’m usually drawn to the most unlikely or difficult course of action), but for once in my life, I’m just a little fed up with it (writing) – as the song suggested by Meg in the previous post joyfully proclaims in the chorus, ‘give me a break, for fuck’s sake’.

There are so many ideas and stories in my head that sometimes I get stuck as to what to write next. Everything seems to be in a constant state of drafting – and the queue gets longer and longer. Should I spend some time on my short stories? Start the next novel to take a break from Tom? Try and find someone to work with to create a ‘game’ story / app? Am I really a writer, or am I simply pretending to do this while the more socially difficult work (getting and retaining clients) is neglected? Ultimately, rightly or wrongly, as anti-social as I become, I can’t call myself a writer until I’m paid to write. (And yes, I know I do copywriting and other corporate writing, but that’s simply not the same – for a start it’s simpler, and it’s more lucrative).

I had hoped that finishing the novel, or sending it off, would make me feel like a writer. But it doesn’t. I still feel like the amateur I am. I know that sometimes I write well, and sometimes I don’t. I know that sometimes I expect too much of my readers, and other times I’m folding a paper aeroplane in 27 steps (did you ever do that as part of a training session – write instructions for how to perform a seemingly simple task? I was never very good at condensing those into the ‘right’ number of steps).

Anyhoo, I don’t mean to moan. I just haven’t written anything (anywhere, not just in this blog) for a while, and I needed to get the fingers moving – I will probably simply unpublish this entry later.

I am very lucky. I have a very supportive wife and friends, and despite my best attempts at doing no marketing whatsoever, I do have a little trickle of paying work that keeps me in rye bread and roobois tea while I sit on my increasingly large arse and contemplate my navel. Hmm. Maybe a run is really the best option now. Although it is raining….

Perhaps it’s the winter blues.

Ok. Enough. I think today is the day for some new shoes – a new short story in the series (as opposed to the four in draft). Although Colm Toibin would apparently disapprove (the Guardian’s Top Ten Tips for Fiction were some chicken soup for the soul on Saturday). And while we’re at it: The Delgados – If this is a plan

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