I know a lot of my faithful readers have been extremely disgruntled that I actually stopped blogging almost a year ago (on 19 July, to be precise). I’ve had several complaints. People have called me stupid and accused me of not being able to identify writer’s block and get over it. But I beg to differ. I’m not stupid, nor am I incapable of identifying or getting over writer’s block. I just happen to know when it’s time to switch to something and time to switch away from something. Last year, it was time to stop blogging – but I didn’t stop writing. Instead, I tried my hand at fiction.
It’s not the first time I’ve tried writing fiction. I definitely remember writing stories as a child and then some very serious attempts at novels when I was in my angst-ridden teenage years. As recently as a decade or so ago, I tried writing a children’s story, which started off extremely well, but got lost and ran out of stream halfway through – the price it paid for never having been satisfactorily thought through. Then a couple of years ago I actually wrote a full length book, but I was distinctly dissatisfied with it and never gave it a second look. I liked the idea and I may go back and try to write that idea again, but it will have to be a whole new attempt, I don’t think I can salvage anything from that previous attempt.
When I stopped blogging last year, I didn’t have any conscious thought of writing anything else instead, much less fiction. I just knew that I had run out of ideas and run out of words for my blog – and if it wasn’t interesting for me to write anymore, then it really couldn’t be very interesting for anyone to read anymore either. That’s not the kind of writing I want to do. So, I stopped.
Eventually, an idea started to form in my mind. At first, I was reluctant to make a book out of it – it was too vast, too complex, much too difficult for me. But the idea lingered and I started to read around the subject. In September, I found myself sitting down to write the first chapter. That was scrapped within a few days or weeks – but it was the beginning. I had enrolled in yet another module of my online archaeology course and I did a terrible injustice to it by ignoring it altogether and focusing on writing my book instead. In the end, I scraped through that module by missing distinction by two marks – a fate I can only be profoundly grateful for, because I didn’t really deserve to do that well. But all the same, by end December, when I had managed to get my archaeology assignment posted, I had also finished the most difficult middle section of my book. And by early Feb, I had the first draft done.
I let it stew for a while and took another look at it in April. My mother, the only one to have seen the manuscript thus far, had discussed it at length with me and I had lots to work on. All the same, half-baked as it was, I sent it off to my agent. Much to my surprise, he agreed to take it on – he’s a difficult-to-please kind of guy. What’s worse was that one of his readers gave it a double thumbs down. I wasn’t surprised – it’s a different kind of book, actually. But I continued to work on it, while waiting to hear from my agent. I didn’t hear anything from him for weeks, and then – finally a thumbs up! I have a publisher!
Now, I’m not the sort to count my chickens before they hatch, especially not when it comes to my books, so I’m not accepting any congratulations yet, I’m not naming the book, or telling you what it’s about or who’s going to publish it. I’m keeping mum and I’m keeping my fingers crossed till I see a contract – and beyond. But of course, I don’t want to be accused of keeping you, my loyal fans – all five of you – in the dark.
Now that I have one work of fiction properly under my belt – done and digested as it were – I have another two brewing. Just to keep things interesting, I also have another module of my archaeology course starting next week. Those of you who’ve been following closely are going to sit up and say – wait, weren’t you done with that? Well, I was, I had completed the certificate modules, it’s true – but I decided to do some more.
So what with the new job, the archaeology module, and two new works of fiction jostling around in my mind, you could say I have my hands full. Why exactly am I spending time writing all these blog posts? And am I going to keep it up? Am I “back to blogging” or is it just a passing interlude? I honestly have no idea. But if you’re still reading this after this long, long break – stick around and let’s see what happens.