I’m doing a short, online course. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll not tell you which one - I may review it when it’s done, but right now we’re in the thick of it and it’s too soon for reflections. (Just in case any fellow-participants should drop by this blog, I never name or shame anyone! In fact I don’t write about anyone without their permission.)
No, the reason I’m raising it here is to highlight the reason I’m doing the course in the first place. I’m playing with another novel - it’s simmered for long enough and I must either write the wretched thing or give up and start something else.
But I’m finding this beginning really hard. Not the first sentence - I’ve got that. What’s hard is settling into the obsession that comes with writing anything as big as a novel. Resistance takes the form of: additional research (including all the spin-offs, reading everything that is interesting but irrelevant), writing character monologues so I can get to know them better, then going for a long walk to think about them, reading how-to-write-a-novel books, reading novels to get ideas on structure ...
So the real reason for doing this course is to give myself a kick up the backside, reconnect with the discipline that enabled me to write The Planter’s Daughter -and remind myself how much I love it when I get going.
I think, at the moment, the course is doing what I need it to do. But I don’t believe I’m the only one to need these nudges from time to time. What do you do?
You can dip into my travel writing, and find out more about The Planter’s Daughter at http://jocarroll.co.uk/