It would appear that September is upon us. After nine months of sporadic writing, several hundred cups of English Breakfast, and a great many Real-Life distractions, Spring is here and the due date for the Donkey Dreaming book has arrived.
How curious that I chose to give myself nine months to write a book. Nine months- the time required for a new human being to be created, complete with ten tiny perfect toes and all. So, given that such miraculous feats occur in the same time frame, you’d think that I could manage a bit of a book thing.
Alas, a baby does not need to be rewritten and edited, deleted, examined, prodded and tweaked (okay, maybe just a little). Regardless of whether mum feels like something the cat dragged in, or how many hours she put in at the coalface that week, that little baby just keeps right on growing. A book, apparently, does not. The Man Up There is pretty darn good at getting it right the first time round, but not this little black duck.
In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, this is the part where I confess to not having finished the Donkey Dreaming book.
Nine months ago, I imagined myself sitting here in the September spring, waxing lyrical about what a wonderfully nourishing process it all was. Cheery photos would be posted-an excited Eliza clutching a box of shiny new books, just hot off the press and still warm with the glow of achievement.
Instead, I have something begrudgingly on its way to becoming a raw, roughish draft, and a much more realistic idea of what it takes to be a writer.
Contrary to my January reasonings, the following formula does NOT a writer maketh:
1 hours= 500 words 1 hours/ 500 words per day x 7 days per week = 9000 words per month 9000 words x 9 months = 81,000 words
81,000 words = A BOOK.
Instead, I have discovered that writing this book is a little like having a baby and a LOT like, well, trekking the BNT. Here’s how….
WHY WRITING IS JUST LIKE TREKKING THE BNT
1. There are times when you are plagued with self-doubt . Am I really good enough to do this? What if I fail?
2. It feels like its gunna go on forever . Yay- twenty
kilometres words down- now another few thousand to go!
3. Some people just don’t get it. Whether its writing or walking, it can come across as a little self-indulgent (it is), or as my step-father so bluntly puts it- ‘nothing more than idle thrills’ (indeed, and rather lovely ones at that).
4. It takes much longer than you think it will. Figure out a rough estimate of time needed for completion, then double it. That’ll probably be closer to the mark.
5. It can be lonely. Is there anyone out thereeeeeeeeeee??
6. Often, one must trudge through barren wastelands to get to the jewel. I would describe my drafting work as three parts vapid fluff to one part cultivated gem. Luckily, the BNT ratio of sucky to awesome is somewhat more favourable.
As one does not lose weight OR toenails while posted in front of a computer screen, I guess that is about where the similarities end.
Back to writing then!