A cherry mocktail before I leave
Super fast and super speedy, today. We're leaving on vacation in two days' time, and I still need to pack and do a number of little, pesky house chores before we go. But seeing Mercury is finally retrograde, all my creativity, my inspiration, my eagerness to write, has returned in full mode on. So I've been writing a lot, and with gusto, that kind of writing where I don't really think of what I'm putting down, I just go along with the flow and while away the hours without even noticing. Yesterday, I got to the end of the day with nearly 3000 written in one sitting without realising I'd written that much. Of course much of those words will be culled out later on, but this is pretty much my normal. Less than this, less than 2000 words, means I'm going through a major writing slump.
The heatwave kind of helped, too. I couldn't sleep properly, so just lay in bed, mind working full time telling me the story, what was to take place, how it was to take place. Suddenly, spots I was getting sidetracked were clear again, and scenes I didn't know how to tackle were so easy to envision. I can honestly say I made more progress on this book during the first days of August then I did all through July. Which was an awful month, by the way. Everything had to be dragged out of me, I just didn't want to do anything, couldn't be bothered, didn't even care. Even when looking at sales reports - the fact I made any sale at all is always a surprise for me - and seeing the numbers coming, left me empty, unresponsive. The four and five star reviews meant nothing, and did not push me to keep going, to better my work, to even work. Usually for writers, reviews are like water when you're thirsty, especially very good reviews. I didn't feel them, last month.
All I felt was morose, uninspired, depressed. Nothing pleased me, nothing made me want to keep going at this writing business I chose for a living. I wasn't being inspired by good reviews, nor able to learn from the less good. I just didn't want to do it anymore, my brain was tired and numb and in need of a break, I thought. Turns out there were five planets retrograde and none was Mercury - this was a joke, people, although now I think of it, was it? My pleasure in writing was gone. My eagerness in sharing my writing was gone. My belief in my work, which tends to be hidden away far beyond the surface, was non-existing. It normally is, but despite it, I always feel the buzz to write, I'm always in need of a good writing session, of sitting down, fingers to keyboard, so I can tell a story, no matter what story. July had me silent and with no stories to tell. Well, this isn't actually very accurate, though.
There was a story being born in my head, during the month of July, like I've said before, and I did some work on it, stuff I don't usually do in my writing process. I'm what some people call a pantser, not a plotter, but the truth is I plot the general idea for my stories inside my head. I construct the basic storyline, create the characters, the setting, the premisse. I just don't write it down with much detail, perhaps a sketch here and there on a word document, but nothing more. I jot down ideas along the way, during the writing process, but as I write, only those major ones tend to stick to the end, and even those suffer a few changes - if story needs it. But this time, I found myself writing down charatcer sheets, answsering character questionnaires, drawing maps, building a world and a universe. It felt right, for this story, the one I plan to write when I finish my WIP. Which seems to be closer than I thought, and I can't say I'm sad about it. I'm eager to have this final book with a complete first draft, so I can start improving on it. But I'll take it slow.
And in the meantime, I'll indulge in a mocktail I did for my kiddo, with very ripe cherries and fresh mint, something not too sweet but good enough to drench the thirst and relax on a hot day:
- five to six very ripe cherries, de-stoned
- a drizzle of honey or a very small spoon of dark muscovado sugar
- a handful of fresh mint leaves
- 1 small bottle of sparkling water, very cold