Cape Town seems to have forgotten that it’s winter, so that’s great.
It also means it’s going to make the second half of Lud easier to revise because it’s the summer part of the novel (yes, my works are seasonal, that’s how I write, don’t ask me I don’t know) .
I think once this round of revisions is done I’m going to take a break and catch up on reading. I find it hard to read while I’m deep in writing a book, it messes with my sentence rhythm. I need to work in cycles.
The musers were discussing the cyclic nature of writing the other day, and I definitely go through three distinct phases.
The most active is the one where I can’t write at all. I can’t even think about writing. I need to do *stuff*. Hike, paint, cook, go to movies or concerts or house parties. ANYTHING but face a blank screen. This is the phase where I have a clean house and well-fed children and something that resembles a life.
Then comes the withdrawal. I’m still not ready to write, but I live in a kind of constant dream-state. I become totally absorbed in fictional worlds: sometimes my own, but more normally other people’s. This is where I dream about characters and watch 276 episodes of a single anime in 2 weeks. Yeah. It’s like that. (Children state: unfed, wearing whatever clothes still fit them. House state: Laundry piling up, dishes taking over every available surface.)
The last stage is still a fugue, still dream like, but now it has a new urgency. Now the characters are mine, and the words roll out unfettered, fucked-up, bent back on each other like acrobats and whores. The words get spat out so that I don’t have time to doubt them. Everywhere around me things fall apart, but I sit in the middle and write. (Children state: they have learned to feed themselves and have resigned themselves to knotted hair and old clothes. House state: What house?)
So how does writing and life work for you – do you deal with them in stages, or do you have a more manageable way of combining the two?