The way of writing

It occurs to me at times what writing it. Having done it for so long, I don’t tend to think about it, but writing really is like any other long term discipline. It is exactly that, a discipline, like a martial art or any other art.

It might not be physical, but it does have the same aspects in terms of repetition, practice, study and focus. Like any other art, it needs to be done daily, constantly and conscientiously. This might sound somewhat hardcore in its approach, but as more than one published author has told me ‘How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.’.

Writing is a very solitary way, and it doesn’t have the rules and strictures that other arts have in terms of measuring ones success. Other than the ones we make for ourselves. It can be hard, but if that’s the choice you have made in terms of your way, you must remain true to it.

Having said all of what I have, that’s not to say I sit down religiously every day and do exactly what needs to be done. I have countless setbacks in my own writing. I get lazy. Life gets in the way. I skip planned sessions that I know need to be done. What keeps me honest and focussed though is sitting down every day with the intention to do right, and to do so as a fresh start. Forget any past transgressions, today is a new day. It will be better.

As with any way, this is a lifetime process. There is no rush.

My current project still has no title (although I keep thinking of it as nouveau-Auckland), and I still have no satisfactory title for the first of the five volumes. I’ve taken an approach on this project that I’ve never before. Full and intricate planning, right down to the chapter. How it starts and ends, what sights and sounds will come up in it. It’s an overly focussed way of writing, but I think this project requires it. So much needs to be packed into the pages. It has to zing.

I have countless screeds of notes in Scrivener for this project, rivaling the notes I’ve had on some novel projects. It feels good. I know these people and places all too intimately. 

But, there is only so much planning one can do on a project. With this first volume planned to the nines, it will soon be time to start writing. I’m interested to see how Leo and Marshall do with all this prep work. Do me proud boys. No pressure.

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