Diary of Writing a Novel; Week Two.

Just some of the notes and memorabilia I have hung onto.

Friday, March 9th

So things have got a bit sticky. I am using my personal experiences of doing stand up to base my story on. Having studied psychology and suffered depression, I am acutely aware that my memory is extremely unreliable. Luckily I have always written lots of journals, and I have kept my old routines and notes on my performances. However, going through this material is not easy. I have done some pretty stupid stuff in my life. And unfortunately for me, I have documented it. Today to say that reading back over my relationship with the Plastic Paddy is embarrassing is an understatement. And yes thanks to my social work degree I now have a much greater understanding of domestic violence and how those sort of men manipulate and control the women in their lives because although he didn’t actually hit me, he certainly managed to frighten me, romance me, hook me in and just generally deceive me. My husband just does not understand how the woman he knows stayed in that situation for a week let alone months. How can I explain something I don’t really understand myself. Either way, my journals might be excellent source material, but they are also disturbing.

Saturday, March 10th

I spent the day sorting through my notebooks trying to categorise them into Comedy, Retail, Security, Depression and Relationships. The idea being that I will be able to easily access the ones not about comedy later when I write about the other subjects. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy as there are a lot of overlaps, especially between relationships and depression and comedy. My depression and anxiety informed a lot of my behaviour around the other two. Did I mention these journals are embarrassing? The number of entries claiming I was “in love”, for weeks at a time only to be bitterly disappointed, betrayed or sabotage it myself are mortifying. Should make for an amusing novel at some point. For now, however, I am meant to be concentrating on the Stand Up Comedy novel.

Sunday, March 11th

I had the day off from all of it. I gardened instead. The journals and notebooks are spread out across the lounge room floor.

Monday, March 12th(Public Holiday)

Another day off, read, gardened, watched YouTube. Thought a lot about all of the things I had come across in my journals. I continue to be astounded at how much I don’t remember. Amongst all the papers I found a completed pilot script and treatment that Kerryn and I wrote in Sydney, along with a request from Beyond Productions to submit it in their preferred format. There was also an almost finished book called “Divorce to Dating, A Bedside Companion”.

Tuesday, March 13th

Last night I read a post in one of the writer’s groups that someone had written 90,000 words in five weeks. I feel like I should up my target and knuckle down some more.
I feel a bit overwhelmed and lost right at the moment. Filling my head up with the past has been inspiring and blocking all at once. Lots of thoughts running around in my head and despite trying to give myself some space by taking a break to let things settle there are still too many thoughts and images running around my head in a whirlwind.
Dropped off the new kitten to the vet.
Answered the emails.
Looked at the Job Vacancies.
I really didn’t want to write. I have a headache, and I feel yuk.
I opened Scrivener and set the target to 1000. Today was not the day to increase that target after all.
I wrote the 1000 words. It didn’t take long. It did take some effort.

Picked up the new Kitten from the vet.

Wednesday, March 14th

Alexander McCall the author of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency was on the ABC this morning. Apparently, he has lost count of the number of novels he has written, over 100, and he writes 5000 words per day.
So I guess I better keep on keeping on.
Messaging my friend in the writing group last night to keep in touch re the number of words and we were talking about her not having written enough words and them not being words she would pay to read. I responded with the Jodi Picoult quote “ You may not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” And I explained although I had written a lot more words than her, they were the worst words. She replied, “They can’t be, Dan Brown, Stephanie Meyer and that 50 Shades woman already used those.”
By the way, you do all know by now that 50 Shades was actually fan fiction about Twilight? Just wow. I can’t even remember if I have actually read 50 Shades. I think I did because I had so many opinions about it that I felt I should, and it wasn’t like it was hard to get hold of….

One op shop built a fort out of Fifty Shades of Grey donations

Thursday, March 15th

So I got no writing done yesterday. I opened up Scrivener and did do some chapter Headings and some plot summary but not a lot. So I felt guilty and grumpy.
So this morning I got up at six determined to really get on with it, and it is now 8.55 am, and I have done no writing. I have researched making a life-sized Dalek for the front yard and yes, possibly a Tardis but no writing. So before it actually hits 9 am I am going to open Scrivener and write. After yesterday my goal for today should be 2000. Let you know how I go.
So some of that past stuff has come back to haunt me but in a useful way. I got some of it down today. Over 2,500 words to be exact. I feel happy, and like I can spend the afternoon getting some research done and working on fiddly bits. Off to find out what year the Peter Cook Bar opened. And maybe listen to some Peter Cook. I didn’t say research couldn’t be fun.



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