Monday, 29 November 2010

Nablopomo – in at the deep end

I began this blog the day before National Blog Posting Month kicked in, so have posted daily ever since. It’s going to feel strange to reduce this intensity of activity here, as it’s all I’ve ever known in blogging world. Even if I had the time, I wonder whether I’d be able to keep coming up with the content.

On the other hand, I can return my attentions to my novel, which I am looking forward to. That and the short story I need to get down to go into the anthology for my writers’ group. It’s a long time since I’ve written a short story and I’m nervous. Writing posts for this has been a good lesson in concision, which does not come naturally to me, so I hope this will help.

I never stopped thinking about the novel while I was busy generating posts, and some distance has been useful. I found solutions to problems that were slowing me down, and saw how to go on with it. The world I created for the story had not yet been fixed in a particular decade, though it clearly wasn’t quite the 21st century as we know it. I’ve decided to let that slide and just write the world as it is in my head. If it turns out not to be the real world at a real time at all, then that needn’t be a problem.

I thought of posting here as a different kind of writing from the ‘creative’ kind I am usually involved in. When my father told me it felt slightly intrusive to read, a bit like opening my diary, I objected that I was writing here exactly the kinds of things that I’d never bother to put in private journal. That made me wonder… is this a kind of creative writing too? Had I created a persona for Mind and Language that is a lot like me, but not me?

If I had, it certainly wasn’t a conscious decision – there hasn’t been time for that kind of thinking, I’ve just had to write what comes every day and press ‘publish’ before I think too hard about it. On reflection, I think I am writing as me, just perhaps not that much about me.

This is probably a good thing, since I always thought of diaries as repositories for all the things that the world does not want to, or should not, hear about. My first ever diary entry as a twelve year old was a heavily coded rant about the girl at school who insisted on flirting with my heart’s desire in front me. As I recall it went on much in that vein for several years, probably descending into the murk of lovelorn adolescent poetry and intermittent self-loathing. I wouldn’t have the energy, or the requisite raging hormones, to write like that now, thank goodness.

I have other challenges preoccupying me. Do I continue the hunt for an agent for my first novel, or throw myself into another deep end: self-publishing, electronic or otherwise, and the marketing battle? No doubt I’ll report here on the sinking and swimming that results. It’s a whole year until Nablopomo starts again, and a lot can happen in that time.


  1. I think all blogs are a different kind of creative writing, but they are creative nonetheless.

    Like but not like? The 'not like' is easy and the 'like' isn't too hard - the really difficult, frustrating, wonderful thing to achieve is both (cue Francis Bacon paintings) and that isn't meant as facetiously as it sounds!

  2. I am trying to write a book about my time in France....and the techniques differ greatly from those I use in blogging, I find.

    I cannot say that it is easy going, either, because people generally have an image of France that I have found to be false in so many respects...but without examination of the image itself what I want to say makes little sense.

    I've been enjoying your for thought...and yet another good introduction I owe to Mark.

  3. I've never really tackled fiction. I started as a journalist years ago and have remained in the realm of "real life" and the personal essay ever since.

    When I began blogging, it wasn't with any particular goal in mind, and I find that my posts vary with whatever is going on, and sometimes I'd rather read other blogs than tend to my own.

    At the moment, I'm a bit burnt out, so taking a bit of a breather (I sometimes wish I could take a break from this bloody minded Siamese, but that's a tale for another day).

    Best of luck with the book. If it is half as enjoyable as this blog, you should not have a problem finding a publisher.

    I'm looking forward to reading whenever you post!