"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce


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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

WRITER'S DREAM; Study Days

Time to tidy up the desk and get to work.



If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I have spent a blissful day today reorganizing my bookshelves...What can I say? I'm a blue-stocking bibliophile and I love spending time with my books!  Seriously though, I needed to make space for new research books so it was time for an overhaul. I now have one and a half shelves of empty space, just waiting to be filled. I am putting off the day when I will be forced to buy an e-reader due to space issues; until then I will sift, sort, stack and re-shelve. I'm just an old fashioned girl at heart. I prefer the printed book.

There was also a work ethic involved in this reorganization for I can feel a writing/researching stint coming on.  I love this excited, tingly feeling, when the seeds of a new idea begin to take hold, or when an old project bears strange and unexpected fruit. In my case it is a little of both as I am revisiting a work in progress (WIP) and taking it in a slightly different direction than the one I had planned.  Sometimes the writing knows best and you just have to go with it.  

I am deep into the Prep Time; making the study ready for long days at the desk.  I have stacks of notebooks, genre samples, research materials and so on, all laid out ready.  I intend to spend a good long while just reading and researching as much as I can; taking notes and jotting down random thoughts and ideas as they  come to me. I like to stick pictures into my notebooks too, building up a mini mood board for inspiration. Sometimes I play music or make a play list of tracks which seem to fit the project I am working on; I generally listen to these between writing stints to keep me in the right frame of mind but I need peace and quiet to actually write.

I have worked in the publishing industry for 17 years now, combining years of both paid and unpaid work as a writer and having had my first unpaid poems published back in 1996/97. During that time I have discovered that publication/payment are not guaranteed; productivity is sporadic without discipline and creativity is something one has to nurture very gently. I am not a task master with myself unless a deadline is approaching and I have to be. I prefer to coax the creativity along.  Projects rarely show up on the page fully formed; this is as true for writing books as it is for creating melody and songs. Writing is a process and this is my process.  

Organization helps to keep my projects on track - as a full time writer I rarely have the luxury of working on a single project and I usually have two or three things on the go at any one time.  Right now I'm working on the new album and I believe that type of creativity has overflowed into something new and exciting. It often happens that one idea leads to another; that one project may spark off another, even though they are totally unrelated.  It's an exciting and interesting time for me right now. I am looking forward to closing myself off from the world, sitting at the desk above and concentrating on moving the WIP forwards.  Productivity is the key to longevity. At the end of the day, writers write - they don't just talk about writing, they get on and do it. It is the act of writing, the discipline of putting the required number of words down on the page each day, that separates the writers from the wannabes. 

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