So, I thought that rather than struggling to find something to write about each month, such as a SUBJECT and be all professorial about the subject of writing and of writing and researching gay historical fiction, I’d just write about my month–and the general ups and downs of Being An Author.
Now, I’m lucky, in many ways. Some people would probably look at my house, my clothes, my lack of jobbiness, my life and they probably wouldn’t agree with me, but for me, having the luxury of Not Being a Wage Slave anymore and treating writing as a Job is a dream come true.
My routine, now I’m settling down to it, is to go to Dad’s, make him breakfast, tidy up etc then I settle down with a pot of coffee and write for an hour – make lunch – then write for an hour if I can in the afternoon.
Trouble is, Dad has no internet access. I was able to connect now and then using the BT Openzone, but even that seems to have disappeared. I could of course get him Broadband, although he has no use for it–but I could. I would feel a bit mean about it, spending his money on my work, and I know he wouldn’t mind. But I decided to try and manage without internet access – it only makes me procrastinate, I thought-so I’d be better off without it. I’m quite capable of spending all day refreshing my friends page, planting virtual vegetables and breeding virtual dragons, so it’s probably better if I don’t have it.
But the research is a pain. I find myself hitting brick walls and at first I got quite despondent about it–I felt i WANTED to know these facts NOW – I’d been writing like this for years and to suddenly change my whole way of doing things was quite hard, but gradually I’ve learned to work a way around it.
Firstly, to be a bit more confident about what I know.
Secondly, to consider whether the readers REALLY need the level of detail I am going to impart, and
Thirdly – if I still need to know that fact to WRITE IT IN BLOCKS, HIGHLIGHT IT and look it up when I get home. Or when I do a tidy up of the manuscript.
So far I’m doing all right. The cold turkey approach to research was hard to take at first, but it’s becoming easier and actually it makes me concentrate more on the story rather than obsessing over what kind of carpet is down, or whether there was a railing at Windsor Great Lawns in 1921. It can wait.
Have this cured my procrastination, though? Has it Buffalo. I just find other stuff to do, like staring out the window at the birds for hours.
Well, I suppose it beats planting virtual vegetables.
Erastes is the penname of a female author who lives on the Norfolk Broads in England. She likes cheese and cats, but only one of those are nice on toast.