I have reached the half way mark of 25,000 words, a day behind target but still. Apart from the fun of the game (a truly essential element), and of doing it alongside some lovely others (so one is not entirely alone at the coalface) it has been sheer, hard , hacking-a-path-through-mountain slog. This is the long haul, you see, and I've never done that. It's like being in labour, when you suddenly experience a profound respect for all the other women who have been through this. Novelists, both published and unpublished - anyone who has actually done this thing of seeing a story (plotted, plotless, prosaic, poetic, whatever) through to the end: Respect!
And life does its best to get in the way. Why wouldn't it? It is such an unnatural thing to be doing, this out of the body thing with ghostie characters who inhabit one's imagination, take on substance and are unpredictable or too predictable, like people but not. I have been in my red and white pyjamas all day, with chest infection, feel awful and M.E. god has turned his baleful and venomous eye on me. Actually, he has been doing this from the outset, but today he sat on the bed with me and said: think you got away with it? Payback time!
And - get this - the writing isn't making me happy. Well who said that it was supposed to do that? Occasionally I get a grim kind of satisfaction because I can feel the pick hitting the seam, but mostly I feel a bit shite about it all, although not as shite as I would feel if I were not doing it.
I spoke with my London-based writing fiend the other day. She is working on her novel and has expressed how she feels about her particular work-in-progress. She loves it with a steadfast, dedicated and pure love. It is a source of joy, close to her heart, her attention to it has made it so. I can see the potential for this, even though we (work-in-progress and I) are are not at this stage in our relationship and it is an uneven and precarious kind of courtship.
A measure of Blogoslavian distraction feels like a good thing.