In a fit of hormonal depression with a dash of pique, I deleted all my previous articles and, while I realise that may seem melodramatic, I would like to point out that the loss was not noticed by a single person. I’m not sure if I should continue to be depressed or not. What’s the point of melodrama when there’s nobody around to watch it? Mmmm….
This brings me to my next big question, what is the point of a blog that nobody reads? Or the point of writing at all when there are no readers? How long can a writer keep on with writing, no matter how much they actually like to write, if every word sits collecting dust? How is the momentum maintained?
As a readerless writer, I keep the good fight going by researching my next story. Reading up on my theme, visiting libraries, museums and other relative venues and institutes, and spending inordinate amounts of time on internet search engines. I set up a “Google” alert, join e-news groups and letters, and RSS to my hearts content.
My characters come knocking during this phase. It might be someone from history who is looking for recall and a fresh viewpoint, perhaps someone I’ve seen in a bookshop or on the train, or it might be a completely new character that comes to me as I’m daydreaming and staring out the window at work.
For location settings, I hit the art galleries. Many scenes from paintings have featured in my stories and I’ve found it helps the description to have actually “seen” a place or person, or, as in one story I wrote a few years ago, an image of horses struggling with an over-laden cart.
Antique stores are a great place to get a feel for history and furniture. Heritage pieces have a much deeper vibe than factory-line pieces at the local furniture franchise. At one antique store in Katoomba, I bought Roman coins from the time period that I’m using in my latest work. I can almost imagine I’m there. My local antique store at Carlton has roman period pots. I’d buy one just so I could touch it, but they cost more than the coins…
Just for peace and quiet, I go out into the bush with my notebook and pen, find a nice warm rock to sit on, and let the stories speak to me. Sometimes, other stuff butts in and I might spend half my time letting it go, but eventually the characters will demand my attention and by the time I come home I have at least some dialogue and a scene waiting to be finished.
Now, if I could only find the time to do all of the above, I might get some serious writing done.
I’m off now to re-work my schedule.