For me, that is. A real surprise. And maybe for you, for all I know.

After faffing around with the manuscripts of a couple of works in progress for a few months, I suddenly decided to go through the manuscript of A Good Place, the novel I had supposedly abandoned a while back. I had low expectations – none, really – and came to it with fresh eyes. I took out one thread that was over-complicating the plot and one character who wouldn’t be needed if that thread didn’t exist. I then decided to just slightly change the emphasis on the different threads that remained. And after that, it suddenly became the story I wanted to write. But the real difference was the voice. I sort of knew the voice I wanted to use, but it wouldn’t play ball. My voice. And now, suddenly, I had a work that was complete other than for a bit of gap-filling and the voice seemed to be working.

Another few weeks or months of work still required, but I finally feel I’m almost there.

That’s not to say it will then be finished, just a completed draft.

And then there is my project to research my family history and write it up in book form for the family. I finally finished the draft of the book and emailed it off to a couple of cousins who are also researching our history, for them to look through and comment on. Obviously there’ll be plenty of work to do to format and print the book, but other than any corrections coming from my cousins, it feels complete.

For most of last year I was struggling to think of myself as a writer. Inspiration had upped and left me and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write any more. I won’t go into any details, although I’ve posted about it so often in the past you must all be fed up with hearing about it. But I have so many works in progress of all sorts that it sort of numbs me when I decide I need to finish something. And as soon as I hit a snag I put the wretched thing aside and pick up something else. Which is obviously no way to get anything done. But now I feel I’ve all but finished one and am in the final straight with another, which leaves far fewer to work on.

It really does feel as though I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, should I start a new project or two…?

38 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Well done on tthe progress Mick.iIt must feel great to break that cycle of despair.
    Like you, i had a few projects started but just lost impetus and put them aside to br lost forever. Now I’m lucky if I can write my name without help.I hve noything on the go and no inclinationm to make a new start. You however seem to be forging ahead and I couldn’t be more pleased if I tried.Only start a couple odnew projects i it maks you happy and if you have the ideas to kep things moving ahead.
    Well done my friend.Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sometimes I suspect that our fussing about so-called ‘non-productive’ periods’ is missing a point. I like to think of those times as a sort of “writer’s winter” — a time of lying fallow, letting ideas and themes rest and root so that new growth can appear. It sounds as though that’s happened for you, and it certainly is worthy of celebration!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think if you have a vision you need to get started on it. You can always change your mind. I also picked up a manuscript the other day that I’d given up on. So far I’m not hating it … fingers crossed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so excited for you, Mick! That’s awesome news! I think all of us get to the point that we set our projects aside, feel that they are somehow just not quite ‘right’, and for some of us, they never come out of hiding, but yours DID! Looking forward to reading more about it … or reading the finished product! πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having done all that work on your outstanding work must be very satisfying, Mick. Even if you’re not quite there yet, I’m impressed that you’re well on your way. This is great news. I admire your will and concentration to stick at your projects, even with taking breaks in between. And I’m sure your family will be thrilled to bits when they can see your book about your family history. Do you have many original photos to include? I think we’ve seen a few on here, mind you, so you probably have. Who are the people in the picture here in this post? I was trying to put a year or period to it compared to my family photos, but I can’t make a decent guess. Keep on keeping on, Mick.


    1. Thanks, Ellie. The photo will be from about 1940 as one of my uncles is already in army fatigues. The lady second right is my maternal grandmother and the other man another uncle of mine.

      Yes, I feel I’m almost there. I can format the family history book as it stands if my cousins don’t insist I change things(!) and the novel still needs a bit of work, but the draft is almost finished. I’m not sure about my will=power, though. Far too much prevaricating and pushing aside.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Mick, this is great news. I am glad you have found a way to resolve your manuscript wheel spinning. I had a similar problem with one of mine and also had to make it less complicated and actually split it up into parts. I’ve finished part one but it needs editing. I also keep going off on tangents with other projects.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read quite a few of his books, although not all of them. Although my father was in India for part of WW2 and in the days leading up to Partition, I’m not aware of any other family connections to India (other than my visits, of course). The novel I’m working on though, A Good Place, is set in a (fictitious) hill station and does touch briefly on those times.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Daniel Kemp

    You have reminded me of something that maybe I’ll write about and maybe I won’t, but at least you have reminded me. Thank you from both sides of me—Perhaps I should stop writing about spies and murders and write about the power of disembodied delaying tactics.

    Liked by 1 person

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