I’m too close to it. I need to step back. The novel has become a huge brick wall that, if I were to stand back, I’d realise is only a few feet wide; but in order to get around it I have to take a few steps backward and then to the side.
I’m not going to consign it to a dusty bottom drawer, as is the cliche. I simply need to put it to one side and take a breath. The past few weeks I’ve made several attempts to approach the writing from different directions and all it’s led to is a lot of good intentions, half-started promises and no defining progress. I need to rediscover the art of writing. In order to do that I need to write. Just, simply, write.
Madeline and Penelope will wait. If anything, I’m the one that hasn’t had the patience. I’m so eager to write that novel that I’m trying to write a story my mind is not yet ready to give up. I spent all of October last year preparing to write those first 50,000 words that I didn’t really consider what would happen after that. Now I need the free space to let it fester, to develop in the back of my subconcious so that I can be sure what I intend to write is how it should be, that I’m happy with it rather than constantly questioning it.
And now I’ve decided to allow myself that freedom, I can’t stop smiling. I can’t wait to try those writing exercises that have been lounging on my desk for months. I’m desperate to explore what might emerge from some new ‘one sentence’ experiments. My fingertips are tingling at the thought of it. The risk of the unknowable is my adventure, and maybe along the way I’ll discover what it is I think I may have neglected during my obsessive novel writing – the excitement, the intrigue, the simple adoration of stacking word on top of word and creating something new. Just…Writing.