Today I thought I’d share with you a little about the book I’m currently working on. The good and the bad.
I can’t reveal the title just yet but I can say that it’s another Rural Fiction book set on the south coast of NSW and it has a dual story line about a young woman on the verge of getting married who discovers that the grandmother she previously knew to be dead is very possibly alive and well. That’s the basic idea. Oh, and it does have a few horses galloping across the pages.
So, let’s get the bad out of the way first. Blackwattle Lake flowed from my fingertips virtually fully formed. Like a newborn baby it just needed to good rub down and some TLC to make it presentable. But this time round I’m finding the whole birthing process more than a little painful and feeling the impact of Second Book Syndrome, where the self doubt and perfectionism that all writers suffer from seems to be even more entrenched than they were the first time round. What if it’s not good enough? What if the publisher doesn’t like it? What if people who read the first one read this one and hate it? What if … what it … what if …?
You get the picture.
So, what am I doing to push through these dreaded symptoms? Well, after procrastinating by checking Facebook, tweeting and writing blog posts like this one, making cups of tea and hot chocolate and playing with the dog, I’m sticking my butt in the chair and writing through the fear. I’m reminding myself that this is a first draft and at this stage quantity is more important than quality. And I’m trusting that if I could do it once I can do it all over again.
On the up side I’m falling in love with a whole new set of characters, escaping to gorgeous settings like the one shown above and spending imaginary time with my very favourite creatures. As part of the book is set back in the 1940’s and 50’s I’m also doing some research and learning some interesting facts:
- The Australian government discouraged the enlistment of indigenous soldiers until the threat of Japanese invasion
- Blackouts during the war in towns and cities made it easier for those involved in the black market to break into warehouses
- During the 50’s and 60’s people could be committed to a psychiatric institution like Callan Park even if they were only mildly depressed. Many patients stayed for years or even the rest of their lives.
I still have a way to go on this draft and even though that That voice keeps saying “you can’t do this, what are you thinking, you’re writing rubbish” I’m blocking my ears, focusing on what is working and believing that if I put in the time the muse will get me through.
Better get back to it 🙂