Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The way ahead

I had an extremely good conversation with a career visionary today, and it's given me much to chew over, including some more clarity on thoughts about my priorities over the next couple years and what I want things to look like in ten.  She had many good pieces of advice, but I will share only the most essential: don't do stuff you don't like!

(I'm still waiting, by the way, for word on the little book on style, which is probably the book dearest to my heart right now and which points the way forward to the ABCs of the novel project.  Should know a bit more about what's happening with that, if only in the negative, in another month or so, and will update here once things are more definite.  I am pretty sure I really am going to stop writing novels, by the way; I don't have the resources of time and attention to do it properly, and it then erodes my pleasure in other things I should be enjoying more, namely my core mission of reading and writing about books and generally living in the world of words and ideas.  It would be different if I didn't have a day job - but I love my day job!) 

Can't say exactly when post-school-year recovery tipped over into procrastination, but at any rate the feeling of not writing the Austen essay (I actually can't remember when I last had a stretch of days putting off doing something to that degree!) became unpleasant enough that it was finally better just to give in and get started.  Got an hour of work done on it this morning before getting diverted into other trains of activity; will try for an hour first thing tomorrow, though the day itself includes a number of things that will entirely curtail writing time.  I can't quite explain why I'm feeling so utterly knackered, except to say that I think the grotesque humidity might be partly to blame...

(I will be in Ottawa over the weekend and early next week, which unfortunately forestalls all work, but once I've sent the Austen essay out I need to do one more revision of The Magic Circle; I have neglected the second half each time I've revised it, it's very natural to concentrate on the opening at the expense of the later parts, and I will undertake one more revision in the hope of really addressing this and making the whole thing as good as it possibly can be.  My editor is going to deserve a co-credit on this one!)

Closing tabs:

Eric Banks's racetrack classics.

Cats at sea.

Nineteenth-century scrapbooks!

Light reading around the edges: Helene Tursten's slightly humdrum but readable Night Rounds; Karin Slaughter's e-book novella Snatched (I like this format and think this particular story works well as a teaser for forthcoming series installment); two books by Mo Hayder, Gone (which has several preposterous aspects but which is so grippingly suspenseful that I almost missed my subway stop) and Hanging Hill (which reminded me what an uneven writer Hayder is - some good things about this one too, particularly in the intensity and suspensefulness of some of the storytelling, but much weaker than her best ones).

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