Friday 29 March 2013
How's the writing going, Joey
That's a question that gets asked a lot, people want to know where I am on my books. They want to know how I'm doing with my word count and if I'm ever any nearer to finishing them. Those that know me, or follow my blog or Facebook page know that a lot of what I do comes in fits and starts. I know it's been mentioned on this blog before that I am disabled - it is in fact on the side bar under "About Joey Paul" - so that, of course, has some impact on the amount of work I am able to do on any given day.
The past few months I have been suffering with a relapse from M.E, which is a condition I, along with many other people, have. It has impacted my day to day life and in turn has impacted the amount of time and energy I am able to put into completing my books. I've been a writer since I was young, but only really considered it as a career once I had no other choice. Don't get me wrong, I love to write. I love making characters and I love giving them a voice and telling their story. But, looking back at my life and the choices I have had to make, I do wonder if things would have gone differently if I hadn't gotten sick when I did or if I hadn't been forced into medical retirement at the age of nineteen.
I would probably still be in that same job - let's for argument sake say that because I loved it at nineteen, nothing had changed - and I probably wouldn't be writing. I started my first "book" at the age of thirteen and my friends who read the original still laugh at how unbelievable *bad* it was. Hell, *I* still laugh at it! (As well as cringe inwardly!) When I was first diagnosed and my life had settled into the pattern that comes with being chronically ill, retired and, well, bored, I picked up that first book and I took it to pieces. I mean, I took every line, every sentence, the whole plot and changed everything I could. It came out with a similar story, but the plot was different, the characters were not the same and the whole thing was just BETTER! Now, I wouldn't call it my strongest book, but it is still on my list of released books because doing that, picking it apart and making it better - that's what made me begin my career as a writer. It's what showed me that I could do this and that all the story lines in my head could become actual books. I've never really looked back from that moment.
So now I ask myself, had I not had that moment of boredom and clarity, would I even be writing today or would I have just started watching day time TV and bored myself to death? The answer, I don't know. I like to think that writing was the career I was meant to take. I like to think that everything happens for a reason (though not always good ones) and I would like to think that in that moment, when I was told I could no longer work a "normal" job and I turned to writing, that I answered my true calling. Yet, I am no different from the thousands of writers out there (though it's probably closer to millions) in that I do suffer from writers block. I have it right now, which is one of the reasons I am writing this piece. It was at the forefront of my mind and although I know what I want to happen in chapter Forty-Three of <i>Destination: Unknown</i> (that's book nine for those not in the know.) I just can't seem to get my fingers to type what my brain pictures. Writers block is a devil on my shoulder telling me that I'll do it tomorrow...or next week...or next month - you get the picture. I keep putting it off because I think "It's not like I *need* to finish it now!" and I don't. Book nine is not due out for another couple of years, and I could just leave it unfinished. What's the harm in that?
Well, a friend of mine linked me to a blog post telling writers everything "25 things to make [them] a better writer" and I read it. Number 25 was "FINISH YOUR SHIT" - exact quote there laides and gentlemen. So, I could put it off for another week, after all, as I always tell myself, uni work comes first. Therein lies the problem. I don't have any uni work due until the week after Easter so I need to get on with it. The other problem is that if I don't write it down now, the real definition of writers block may come along and steal my ideas from my brain. It happens all the time. I'm lying in bed, and I have this great idea for my next book. I tell myself not to worry about writing it down just then because I'll remember it. Do you know what happens? I forget the whole thing by morning. It happens all the time and I never seem to remember that I've forgotten in the past and should just get my lazy butt outta bed and write it down. Things to learn I guess.
So, the whole point of this is when asked "How's the writing going, Joey?" I never really know what to say. Sometimes it flows, sometimes I literally can not type fast enough to keep up with myself. However, sometimes you get stuck when you can't think of the words to describe the scenes in your head. Other times, the words don't come no matter how desperate and ready you are to write them. And other times, the ideas are stolen by the Sandman while you sleep.
How's the writing going? Well, I'm still plugging away and I won't stop until I finish, but it's a long process and a painful one at that (sometimes). So when you ask someone how the writing is going, refer back here as to why they may have a pained look on their face. Writing is an art in itself, and like all art - good and bad - it takes time. It takes a piece of the artist with it and sometimes we don't always get that piece back. Still, it's a career I love and wouldn't change for the world. I'm not in this for the money, I'm in it for the joy of bringing characters to life and being able to create whole worlds with my words. That, dear readers, is worth everything in the world.
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