Things I do when I should be writing instead

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

  1. 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.)
  2. Figure out who I am going to dedicate my next book to. (Mum, probably, if I ever finish it. Shh, don't tell her.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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?).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Wonder whether buying a Macbook would somehow make this writing thing easier.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.)
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