This time of year always feels a bit strange for me, more so this year than any other before. It’s partly because I’m unavoidably sliding down a big tube marked “My 30’s” and in a few days I’m gonna crash through to the adjoining one. But it’s also because I’ve just spent the last four months writing every weekday, so now I just feel like I’m in between the work done and the work to be done.
As advised, I’m not going to touch my first draft until after Christmas. I know I should continue writing something, but I wanted a break, and with birthday and Christmas plans, plus updating my CV and beginning the job search for next year I’ve decided that I’ll only update my blog for the moment. Any experienced writers out there might be thinking right now “Uh-oh – he’s showing signs of stalling – will he actually get back to it or will it be left on the side, gathering dust?” but I assure you it won’t be the case.
I’m actually already looking forward to the editing. I can hear the story calling me, telling me to come back and make it better. The characters deserve to be improved – sharper, funnier, louder, sexier, more evil. The places need to come alive. The story has got to say “This will sell!” I will make a plan – much like I did for writing it – to make sure I edit x number of pages a day. I’m not exactly sure how I will edit it, but I will read up some more and then try it and tailor it to how I feel it will work for me.
I’ve also started the thought process on my next book. What – you thought that was it? I have been known to start the odd fad and never pick it up again, but with running and now writing, I very much want to keep them going. I really enjoyed writing 26 Miles to the Moon, and loved the initial process in coming up and developing ideas. So the thoughts have been coming – nothing firm, just a few seeds drifting in the air that I’ve grabbed and kept, perhaps growing them later. I’m also toying with a sequel; well if Tom Cruise is considering a Top Gun sequel then you can follow anything.
This period’s also given me a bit of time to reflect on things. I’ve been so self-absorbed in my book that it feels all a bit “me-me-me”. I’ve been amazed how interested people have been in it and my progress, and as much as I love telling people when they ask how I’m getting on and what I’ve been doing, it does all feel a bit trivial at times. I’m not helping anyone, battling adversity, enriching my community or doing much for anyone right now. I’ll think about what I can give back in 2012.
For the short-term, though, the Andy Show will continue. My next post will let you know how it feels to turn 40. If the old adage is correct, my life should just be beginning…