- Stage imaginary interviews with myself in my head, imagining I am a Serious Writer who writes Serious Things about stuff like The Human Condition, which require in-depth literary analysis. I picture myself nodding sagely on a late-night chat show and talking about themes and my creative process. (I mainly enjoy these imaginings because in these imaginings my book is a) finished and b) brilliant.)
- Figure out who I am going to dedicate my next book to. (Mum, probably, if I ever finish it. Shh, don't tell her.)
- Figure out how many books I can write before I run out of people I love to dedicate them to. (I have worked out that it's five more, imagining that some people will have books dedicated to them in pairs, mainly because I can't dedicate a book to one of my grandparents before I dedicate one to another, and what if the book I dedicate to my pop is the last book I ever publish, and then my nan is heartbroken? We can't have that. So I have five more books, and I will have to find someone new to love by book six. Which will be my eighth overall, and if I continue at my current pace of writing and publishing - presuming I continue to manage to get books published which let's not think of the alternative! Which is clearly faking my own death and living on some remote mountaintop somewhere - will not be released until the age of 31. Twelve years to find another person to dedicate a book to. I'm feeling positive about this endeavour. Feel free to submit your applications any time between now and 2025.)
- Regret not using a pseudonym. (There are things I would actually like to be able to write about, but even if I wrote about them in a thickly-veiled fashion, people I know would pick it. I am very mindful of distancing my stories from my own life. There is something disconcerting about people knowing about you through your fiction.)
- Think about whether 'Steph Bowe' or 'Stephanie Bowe' is a more aesthetically appealing name and wonder whether it's too late to go back to being Stephanie. I do like the syllables of Steph Bowe, though. I overthink this.
- Wonder whether anyone will notice if I put a character in my book who is a direct replica of me and whose name is an anagram of my own (Phoebe Tawnies, anyone? It doesn't sound particularly believable, does it?).
- Panic because I know literally nothing about novel-writing. It seems like my mind is wiped whenever I finish a novel. Can you imagine being like this in any other profession? It would not be acceptable to be a doctor who has amnesia after every surgery.
- Make soup. I'm really good at cooking soup because it is literally just vegetables and water in a pot. Impossible to stuff up. I feel really accomplished when I cook a meal. The panic at the fact that I have still not finished my novel is softened by the astounding sense of self-satisfaction that cooking dinner provides.
- Wonder whether buying a Macbook would somehow make this writing thing easier.
- Stare at all my messy words in that terrifying document and urge them with my mind to become a whole and beautiful piece of art that other people will adore.
- Observe as nothing happens. (If I had magical powers, I would use them to write really great books. And end world hunger, and maim baddies, and prevent disasters. But, you know, priorities. Gotta finish my novel.)
Things I do when I should be writing instead
Tuesday, October 15, 2013