It’s been a couple of months since my last State of the Savage post. No, I didn’t forget, I’ve just adjusted the frequency of this series to every other month. Maybe you noticed that for the last couple of months Traveling Savage has been getting two new posts per week instead of three. There’s a good reason for these changes. As I mentioned in the last State of the Savage,
I’M WRITING A BOOK.
Like actually getting up at 6:30 and stumbling into my dark den to pound out thousands of words a day. Well, that’s a good day.
It’s not uncommon for me to snooze the alarm five or six times before shuffling downstairs to stare dumbly at the dewy grass while the morning sun thaws my sleep-addled brain (why am I getting up so early, boss?). I make some coffee and a green smoothie and maybe it’s 7:30 or 8 before I actually start writing. I might stare at the glowing rectangle of my Macbook Pro, hands in my lap, for 30, 45, 60 minutes and curse myself for using Self Control to lock myself out of the internet.
The point, however, is that I’m writing. A book. And I’ve been following this schedule for the past two and a half weeks. Some days the words pour of me and other days the creative well is bone dry and I have nothing creative or worthwhile to say. I think, “Can’t this be a movie already?” Despite these tribulations, the experience thus far has left me optimistic for the future.
So what am I writing about? When did I start? Etc. etc.
I’ve subtly alluded to this project on several occasions over the last few months, but I’ve avoided going into detail because the timing felt wrong. When you share an idea before it’s fully developed, you risk someone inadvertently killing it in the cradle with little more than a phrase that strikes you wrong. So I’ve waited until now.
I’m writing an historical fiction/fantasy novel that will be heavily informed by my travels around Scotland. Some key phrases: modern world, dark ages, stone circles, amyn uisce, drunem, thuul, fangavinden. Hmm, seems only I have the Rosetta Stone for this curious list.
The idea came to me at the turn of the year and I spent the next four months researching, reading history books, and developing 50,000 words worth of backstory and worldbuilding. I went to Scotland in April/May and returned home to flesh out my plot lines and put together a writing schedule.
I’m now roughly 20,000 words into the actually writing of the story, and I’m hitting all the classic ups and downs of writers though I haven’t yet started drinking pastis. I hope to have the rough draft finished by the end of the year. It’s difficult for me to leave chapters in a state that clearly needs more work, but I’m focused like a laser on getting the plot down on paper before I comb through the text in the second draft and make it pretty (hopefully with a bit of Picture This flair here and there).
So there you have it. I’ve redirected some of my writing energies toward this book project. It’s very important to me – I don’t pursue ideas unless I fully believe in their merit. Who knows, maybe some of this work will grace the pages of Traveling Savage at certain and mysterious times. We’ll see.
If you’ve got any questions please put them in the comments and I’ll do my best to be both enlightening and circumspect.
I do my best work when I create situations I can’t get out of. What do you do to facilitate your creative process? How do you bring your best work to life?