It’s three weeks in since I left Rosemerryn and The Writer’s Retreat, and I am feeling heartily glad that I attended. It has reinvigorated my writing. Hurrah! There are many gems that I’ve picked up along my writing journey – ‘show up’, ‘just write’, ‘warm up’, ‘flex the creative muscles’, and so on – but there’s something about being immersed with writers, being led by experienced tutors. Writing is a lonely art, because when it comes down to it, it’s just you and the page. Well, it’s just you, the page and the loud-mouthed inner critic in my case.
What has really shifted in me, as a result of The Writing Retreat, is that I now don’t care if my first draft is shit (to quote Hemingway), because it gives me something to work with. That’s why the inner critic gets placed in the Fogou, and is allowed out when it comes to editing. I am a master in the art of critical – in my accountancy training, I was a financial and then a systems auditor. The great thing about the auditing profession is that it develops your critical eye. The terrible thing about the auditing profession is that it develops your critical eye – and a tendency to see fault first. You wouldn’t believe I left that profession some 10 years ago, but perhaps now I have a model to to kick it into the Fogou, and allow it back out to let rip.
In the three weeks that I’ve been back, I’ve written 8,500 words (of shit, hahahaha). That pleases me no end. I write every day, but not necessarily on the novel. I chose the days when I’m going to write this, and I set myself the minimum of 1,000 words, and then the deal I have with myself, is that when I leave my desk, I know where I’m going next.
Where am I on the Snowflake model? Well, it got me a long way, but having planned, plotted and schemed, I’m using this to drive a bit more of organic stuff that goes on between my characters. I set up the scene, and they are running the show… at least they are in Draft One, the shit one. I have to say that I love the freedom that this gives – but I also love knowing where I’m heading, story-wise. I seem to be a combination of a planner and a pantser! Maybe that’s a subject for another blog!
Anyway, happy weekend, whatever you’re doing.