I am currently reading: Poliakoff Plays: One, Stephen Poliakoff, Methuen, 1989. ISBN 0 413 624609
I have discovered a new burst of energy this week. A new resolution. A fresh determination. A can do attitude.
In short I have been working consistently on my book.
It still feels like climbing the north face of the Eiger in the dark during a total eclipse of the moon. However, with the trusty torch of determination in one hand and the glittering ice pick of resolution in the other, I am making progress. (Shades of Jonathan Aitken. I just hope I am not heading for a similar pratfall.)
Little sparks of inspiration light my way. I walk to work with my head filled with the conversations of my protagonists. I suddenly freeze, with hand outstretched to pick up a tin of tomatoes in Waitrose, as I discover a hitherto hidden facet of one of my characters. Somebody makes an innocent comment and I find I have resolved a structural issue.
As for the writing process itself, it remains slow, painful, and filled with moments of despondency. However, I can see, perhaps for the first time, the shape of a complete novel.
So I have decided to put in abeyance all doubts and just concentrate on completing it. After all, I reason with sageness of Socrates, there will be nothing to praise if there is nothing to praise.
So my resolution is to complete the first draft by my birthday. By 2nd December. There, I have made a public commitment.
What I really need is a gentle dominatrix - if that is not an oxymoron. I used to have one such when I worked in advertising. Her name was/is Mary Hazell, Head of Production.
Dear Mary could wield the whip so gently yet effectively that no diva in the creative department, no matter how recalcitrant or difficult, ever missed a deadline. With kind words and flattery, but always with the whip in view, she could coax copy out of a hand turned to stone.
(Picture of typewriter © C. Sommerer & L. Mignonneau)