Thursday 22 January 2015

Happy Anniversary Dave Doesn't Write Anything Ever

Well, first blog of the year, and so many exciting things have happened that would fit right in with the sort of things I have mainly been writing about here. Freedom of speech, terrorism, the shouty twatness coming from both left and right, and even the moderate types are getting shouty etc. etc. ad nauseum. I felt that along with freedom of speech comes the freedom not to speak about it, something a lot more of the internet maybe should have thought of, never has Voltaire been misquoted by so many people simultaneously.

Je suis silencieuse. 

However, I remembered why I started this blog in the first place. So, if you are hoping for angry politics, utterly hysterical jokes and some outrageous statement of intent then go back and read some of last years stuff. However, if you are hoping for some terribly dull, navel gazing, self important whining then read on, this is very much for you.
A year ago, in a fit of new years motivation, I sat down and wrote this and thus began this here blog. It was intended as a record of just how badly I was doing at writing a novel, a week by week account of my ability to do anything other than actually sit down and write the bloody thing. A hysterically funny compendium of Arnold Rimmer style ways of avoiding doing the thing you wish to do. I intended to update it at least once a fortnight, if not exactly weekly, as had always been the original conception of it. It was supposed to shame me into doing some actual work. Looking at the control page for the blog, it says I have 30 entries. This means I managed to update it more often than I didn't. Which surprises me, clearly my early enthusiasm for it just about beat my later apathy.

In my own defence, the terribly quiet patch over November and December was, as always, the result of my job, which gets horrendously busy at the end of the year, and thus I have no time to write anything (I tend to find myself at work for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for those two months). I also discovered, while researching this blog post, which is ironically, terribly late for a new years round up of events, that I had not written much of the actual novel over the last 12 months either. In fact, since this realisation about 3 weeks ago, I have doubled it's length, and am now about half way through the word count, and 3 quarters of the way through the plot (I have a fairly odd writing process, do not question it). I intend to have my first draft finished in time to spend the summer drunk, and waiting for feedback from helpful holidaying readers who own kindles.
Again, I can defend my lack of productivity, I never set myself very high targets for ploughing through the work last year, assuming every few words to be a victory against my procrastination and general idleness. Also, I was terribly punctual in writing this blog for a long time, assuming it to be the 'writer's shop front' that works as a show room, and gets you noticed, and brings offers of other writing work. At the same time, I took a couple of fairly long online courses, which ate into my free time, and used them all as excuses to not write the fucking novel.

In February, I wrote this which has turned out to be quite prophetic, since at the end of the year, I did quit everything else, and I am now more productive. I am in no gigging bands, and all the people I have said no to for dep gigs over the last 6 months or so have stopped calling. Which is a shame, as I would probably say yes now. Sadly the pub that was mentioned in it as reopening, closed a few short months later, and will now never be a pub again. And the last song for the Plastic Squirrel EP that was mentioned didn't get finished until December. I have an excuse for that as well thanks, and the results will be coming out soon(ish).

It turned out that having this blog here did manage to get me noticed, as I was asked to scrawl some stuff for a money making venture, that has as yet produced no money. So I knocked out about 4 times as many words as I had then managed to put into my book for that in about a month. And then a great deal of knocking it into useable shape, and putting together some clever advertising blurb and suchlike for it took another big chunk of time, and before I knew it the summer had waved a little 'no swimming here' flag and gone away.

The other thing about the summer, is that it is festival season, and last year, I was very much still in a band, and we did quite a few festival gigs, which required a fair bit of rehearsal (particularly as we had to keep borrowing extra musicians for gigs that regular members couldn't make it to) and a great deal of driving all over the country and getting rained on. My visions of sitting in my garden happily writing away at my book never happened. Mainly because you can't see a laptop screen in the sun, but also because any time I managed to find during which I was neither gigging, working, or rehearsing and it was sunny, I would use it to sit in the sunshine with cider, and my wife. Which is far more pleasant than trying to wrangle my characters into doing what they are supposed to when they really want to do something else. I also have a pile of wood that will eventually be a bike shed which bears testament to just how much time I spent not doing things that needed to be done over the summer.

Anyhow, it has been an interesting year, and this blog failed to be a document of how not to write a novel, it did, ironically, become an instrument of procrastination all of its own and ever so occasionally was well received. I may be a little less prolific this year, on the grounds that I now have a word count to hit every week before I am allowed to do anything that isn't writing the novel (and yes I hit this weeks target about an hour ago, and I am letting the characters do what they want rather than what I originally intended them to do, which requires an awful lot of retrospective dicking about) as it is the only way I can get it done before the weather turns nice again. Because once the sun is out, I am in it, and I have cider.

 By the way, I am sorry that this blog is neither serves any useful function, informs you of anything you need to know, or makes you laugh. I had to write something, and this was what spewed out of my head. Sorry.