Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Long Game

Fitting in a few thoughts about writing. It's not the lack of "doing" time that frustrates me at the moment but the lack of thinking and reflecting time. Sometimes you can get so much more "done" when you are busy, but it's like taking money out of your savings, the reserves get depleted after a while. So I seem to be being incredibly productive, in many different ways, but I know that the emotional, psychological and creative-artistic savings accounts are all running dangerously low. I get the occasional top up by going to an exhibition or reading a book or watching a TV series, but not had much time to think about even those things.

More productively I've been going back through the last five years or so of my writing. I've always been fitting this into a busy life, and that's been fine. Yet the five years before that, basically 1997-2002, my productivity was off the chart. I finished five very different novels, wrote a wide range of poems and short stories, fitted in a screenplay; let alone at least three unfinished novels that I really should go back to one day. But quantity isn't as important as quality - and what's been good is going back and reading work that I might be dismissive of because of how long ago it was, and finding that it's actually well written and carefully edited. The time went into it. I don't mind playing the long game. The person I was then has a different perspective and sensibility to the one I am now, but the difference is more circumstances and age, than anything fundamental. Writers, musicians, we're the lucky ones in many ways. Most people can only look at old photographs and recall what they were like on the outside, we get to read our old thoughts, and recall what we felt like on the inside.

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