|Image: Gaian Economics|
One thing I’ve started doing as a result of reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, is reading on the way to the office and during my break. I’ve decided to take my current book with me everywhere I go in order to a) get through more fiction and b) enhance my craft. It felt different arriving in the office having already been inside a book yesterday morning, for that pleasure is normally reserved for later at night or the weekend.
There are some things King has said that I think I really needed to hear both from a self-confidence angle as much as a personal reality check. The book is making me look at myself, study how I compare and how my methods and thinking relate to the advice he is giving. I’m in tune with some of it and totally at odds with the rest, and it’s the bits I’m at odds with that are causing the biggest internal analysis—I’m making myself be brutally honest with my own perceptions of what kind of writer I am and what I should be doing to grow.
Not only that, but there are some things he said that have unleashed me from restrictive perceptions I had. For instance, he talks about using the tools you have and to go with your gut reaction, the words you choose first being the most natural to your rhythm and flow. Don’t be tempted to go back and fill in other words to make your work more interesting. Only through reading more and writing more will that happen naturally.
This is something I’ve been guilty of in the past, both of going back and replacing words that then lose their impact, and of feeling useless because my vocabulary is not as strong as I think it should be. King is telling me to let the story and my natural instincts take over, and through this I will see my work improve and I will be able to take my enjoyment out of writing to a whole new level—and that’s the bit I think I needed to hear.
I think you will gather from this, and previous days, that this book is having a huge impact on my writing; how I feel about it being part of my life and how I approach balancing it with my family and work. I feel like invisible bonds have been undone and those things that worried me seem to be dissolving before my very eyes.
Monday was another fine sunny morning over the east of Scotland, and one I got to enjoy by walking to work from my drop off point in the town. I still have to take the bus for the largest chunk between Leith and the town centre, but it’s still a nice walk as you can see the Forth in the distance with Anstruther and the Fife coast lying beyond.
This week is going to be a long one in the day job. My boss is off on holiday so I’ve a lot to cover, plus I’m working double shifts, which means 8am to 5pm daily—probably longer with the boss being off. I managed to get away at 5pm yesterday and met Gail at the supermarket. We bought stuff for dinner then headed home to make pea and mint soup and enchiladas. Gail’s pal and doggie joined us for dinner (Laura’s away for a couple of days) and they had brought chocolate gateau for dessert with them. It was a delicious Monday night meal and I was stuffed!
The dog, Gracie, got so excited when she saw me she sprayed pee all over the hall as I was cuddling her. Her days in our house are numbered as a result, especially once we get the living room done up.
The rest of my evening was spent on the phone to a mate. We don’t get to talk much through work commitments at both ends, but we’re planning our next little trip for The Diners. Could be Amsterdam, could be London, could be Dublin, not sure. But our 90 minute call was a productive one as well as a balancing one.
Until tomorrow, peace and out!