Winter is Coming

Have you ever woken up in the wee hours of the morning, brain refreshed and renewed, and turned on your computer enthused about churning out page after page of glowing text from that novel you’ve been neglecting lately?

Only to find yourself going: Wait, I must check Facebook, ooh I must twitter this, look shiny interesting blogpost must read–screw you novel, stop pouting at me, you will keep!

My life feels a lot like that lately.

Zing

The weeks have been whizzing by pretty fast! First of all, the bookshop job has been demanding a lot out of me, but I’m immensely grateful for being employed. The first few weeks, taking the bus to work, I was on cloud nine.

Now it’s a bit shocking to realise how easy it is to take a job for granted. When I stumble home, body aching, the last thing I want to do is work on the novel – and this inspires a new range of feelings: a kind of resentment at the new distraction, guilt for procrastinating and not writing more, and a deeper self-loathing along the lines of Why-Can’t-You-Be-More-Disciplined-and-Get-Your-Life-Together?

My friends tell me that I am just too hard on myself, that the brain needs rest and time to simmer over plotlines and ideas, so on and so forth. But deep down I feel that I myself should get some words down at the end of the day, to feed that writing habit.

Also, best friend Liz (with her usual brand of tough love) reminds me that I should focus on the positive side of things and what I’ve achieved so far (she suggested making a list, which I thoroughly and honestly plan to do one day). And that I should shift my mindset from ‘I must finish this’ to ‘I should aim to…’

This way, writing becomes less about about the stick-and-morningstar, ahem, but more goal oriented.

I Not Been Idle!

In any case, the writing bits are coming along – just not much on the novel.

Besides deriving (probably too many!) hours and hours of pleasure MUSHing, I have sent a story for a writing contest, edited someone’s synopsis, and been wistfully eyeing yet another anthology called ‘Dark Tales of Lost Civilisations’.

I wish I knew about this one sooner, rather than just two weeks before the deadline! I do have a possible story in me head, but it requires a ton of research, more thinking, and certainly a more stable environment considering I am supposed to be finally moving back to our flat next week – now that repairs are (supposedly) done after a nasty flooding incident last December. (Good lord, still can’t believe my poor landlady has been out of her own home since last year!)

Anyway after a bit of soul searching, I’ve decided to sadly give this intriguing-sounding anthology a pass, although it doesn’t mean I will not work on that germ of a story someday.

At the very least, the past month I also sat down and fleshed out the villains that might appear in my Malaysian Dark series. Yes, the eternal novel I’ve been working on has actually sprouted babies. I always knew Malaysian Dark would make a good series, considering the limitless possibilities of its folklore. It’s just a question of how I can develop all the pieces together in the beginning, and not tack on some convenient piece of lore as an afterthought (*cough* George Lucas *cough*).

Winter is Coming

But time is of the essence. I should aim to finish (see what I just did? ; ) most of the novel by the end of this month, because November is NaNoWri. I’d been toying whether to actually commit myself to it, since my US friend Ashley has been fired up about churning out that 50,000 word novel.

If I do decide to do it, I’ve even got an idea on what to write. It would, surprisingly, be a Young Adult novel, which I realise could be such a pleasure to do. It would get my head out of the Malaysian urban fantasy morass that is Malaysian Dark, and make for a lovely change of pace. I’m actually excited about writing it too! Funnily enough, it was the bookshop job that inspired it.

Argh, but…should finish Malaysian Dark! Winter is coming, and knowing me, if I’m too damn cold, I cannot write. (I still remember shivering in my room last year because my fingers were half frozen, despite the gloves).

Plus, next month is when I start on the new Christmas mail sorting job, God willing.

November be coming, and I must make a decision soon.

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6 Comments

Filed under Contests, Fantasy, Malaysia, MUSH, Novel, Photography, Procrastination, Role-Playing Game, State of Mind, Triumph, Writing

6 responses to “Winter is Coming

  1. The way you described it is so appropriate: resentment at how time-consuming the job is, guilt, and self-loathing for not managing the time well. Even after I was fortunate enough to find a job with shorter hours that I enjoyed, I still feel that way. Oh, to be able to afford to write fulltime!

    Good luck with NaNo. I attempted it last year but was a big FAIL. I have since accepted that I should write at my own pace — a snail’s.

    OMG, don’t you have heating in your flat? You don’t wear a coat indoors, do you?

    • Err, yes, actually I did ;D Although that may have something to do with the fact that around the time this picture was taken, I was living in a room with no heater. I don’t know how I survived.

      And so nice of you to drop by! Although I don’t know if you count as ‘aspiring’ author if you wrote two ebooks already – it looks awesome by the way 🙂

  2. Ashley

    I wouldn’t call myself “fired up” – more like “utterly terrified”. 😉 I’ve managed to convince myself that it’s expected that I finish this, therefore I will finish it. Only one small problem: I’m no writer. Not even close. I expect it to be work, dreary work, but hey, maybe somehow it’ll be interesting work? I’ll get myself amped up on caffeine and see what comes out. :> This should make you and your actual writer friends cover their eyes in fear, because I have no hesitation about writing some rainbow nyancats in to up the wordcount. (Well, maybe a small hesitation – but only a small one!) And hey, it’ll give you time to work on that novel cuz I won’t distract you as much! …But if you choose to join me, we’ll race. 😉

  3. I know exactly what you mean, Chris. If only there were 48 hours in a day!

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