There are times I open the nearest journal (I have three on the go), look at the blank page, and just let dialogue fall out. Sometimes it will be a continuation of a scene that I’ve been working on, and sometimes it is a complete non sequitor that blossoms into something wild and weird and absolutely demanding to be used.
The secret, for me, is to throw nothing away that I’ve written. Even if it just lives on a page between shopping lists, project objectives and surreal doodles, I now realise that at some point I will find a use for that orphan text. If I don’t use it as it currently sits, I will find it inspiring a short story or a sequence in the novel that is currently struggling through it’s second act to race ahead to the finale.
And then I get weeks like this one, where the writing has been a slog, largely concerned with making separate strands gel together or with inserting space for beats to stay distinct. I have quite a lot of writing from this week that I now need to type up, and that ill-defined feeling that the week has gone too quickly again.
Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t allow that other things have got in the way. Work at the library has been busy due to staff shortages, I had a thankfully short-lived stomach upset, my voice has continued to fluctuate, and I’ve also been playing a bit of Watchdogs.
The dual non-game, almost nostalgic reasons, for me, for exploring the vast virtual Chicago of that game have come from trying to trace locations from Jim Butcher’s Dresden novels and from tying in locations from GMing Vampire: The Masquerade many moons ago. It’s been quiet fun. While the game has a few flaws, in much the same way that the original Assassin’s Creed was flawed before being polished in later iterations, the many side missions have suited my mood to occasionally just dip in casually, rather than fully immerse myself in the rather uneven tone of the main story.
Still, the week has sped by, with more library work tomorrow while the sun bakes our little corner of the world and keeps our impromptu balcony vegetable patch flourishing. We may even get to some rollercoasters on Sunday. I think this is called having a work-life balance, even if the writing instinct keeps beating me up for not keeping my nose to the grindstone..!