Writing the misery
One of the reasons I began this blog was so that I could see more clearly my own writing processes. In an earlier post I proudly boasted that I didn't do writer's block. However, I do have two distinct tasks within writing; one is writing itself, the other is editing that writing, and I do one or the other dependent on a variety of things. The past couple of weeks, though, I have felt less motivated creatively. Im not sure why. Actually I do know why - now that I have my first novel in the publication pipeline and a few other things have developed with regard to agents etc I feel incredibly flat. It's funny how not being acknowledged in any way as a writer can make you go all the more harder at it. Anyway, enough. This evening I made myself work on an outline for a new project, which kind of helped. I think, also, - have felt a bit more blocked since I went to see an agent this week who suggested that The Carousel, the novel I am currently editing/working on comes across as too heavy; misery wise and that perhaps it needed more humour in the vein of Shameless. I nodded and said I was open to all suggestion, and I am, but over the past few days I have tried to continue working on The Carousel, in particular a part three in which I give the mother a voice - her own space, which, I should say, I don't usually do. But now Im reading the last section thinking, god, it is quite dark, quite miserable. But there are wry and funny elements - there is plenty of that black humour, or maybe I am the only one to see it. Maybe I feel it more because it is so autobiographical. The funny thing is that, ever since Shameless came out, I have slagged it off left, right and centre for being too vulgar, for glamourising addiction and alcoholism on a Mancunian council estate, for not showing any of the dark reality and frustrations inherent in that situation as it is lived. Anyway, I have decided that, once I get back into full flow with it, which I surely will, it will have to keep its integrity. The agent also said that I had to bear in mind that most readers are middle class. How can I forget? But most truly exciting work has not followed the herd. An earlier post referred to those exciting works heavy on alienation techniques, especially strong dialects, which get all the more respect for staying true to themselves.
Publication and earning from writing is important to me, but it is not the motivator but the by-product, and once I get those back to front I lose what I get from writing in every other way, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.