The Non-Writing Man

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The last few weeks have been a bit strange… many short weeks due to public holidays, personal travels and individual plans. This has meant an almost total inability to keep to any kind of work schedule and a slight discombobulation of my state of mind. Net result: no work on the novel what so ever.

Part 1 of JOHANNESBURG has now been vetted, checked, re-written and double checked. I am pretty damn pleased with it. Work on Part 2 was supposed to start on Monday this week. Now slated for Monday next week. Which is OK. As much as I am keen to get this part of the work done, it also needs to be done well, which requires attention, focus and desire in equal proportions. Not all 3 of those factors have been available to me this week.

I guess I could list all the other factors that are on my mind like being in a new country, not really speaking the language etc., but this would just amount to a long list of excuses. The bottom line is that I am not writing.

This is a weird space to be in. The 3rd draft is without doubt a vast improvement on my manuscript. I have enjoyed seeing it emerge. None the less, I find re-reading and re-writing my own work somewhat tedious… no matter how beneficial the result. At best it seems like plain, nasty hard work. At worst it seems like an extravagant exercise in narcissism.

Problem is that it does work. With the way I write, there are always going to be holes… and not just typos and mis-spellings. I have found character gaps, narrative assumptions and a few just plain weirdness’s.

But the process rips me from where and when I am now, and transports me to another world… one I have firmly left behind for now… Well, the state of mind I was in when I wrote the first draft I hope is gone forever. Going back and fixing it is therefore like psychological teleportation. Ahh well, maybe it’s more like therapeutic teleportation: at least I get to make stuff work better.

Poetry is also a bit stalled… The list of ideas is growing, but the list of works is not. I am OK with this though… poetry has always been really stop-start for me in any event. What IS exciting though is that I will be playing my first ever live show in the Netherlands in a few weeks, but more news about that next week. Right now, I need to go and practice my songs!

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