I spent a good part of the weekend wandering around in ever-diminishing circles as I tried – and failed – to make any significant inroads writing the new book. I’ve taken a more measured approach this time. I spent a good 6-7 weeks on the first chapter, knowing that ultimately it will end up very different to the version I settled on. Still, it felt like time well spent because it set the tone for the rest of the book. So the theory went.
In fact as I set about writing chapter two, and with my mind full of ideas, I found that nothing worked – it was all lame or dull or just plain wrong. If I gained anything out of the experience it’s what not to write. As it stands the chapter remains unwritten, and the mystery is ongoing.
No matter, I’ll figure it out. From what I can tell writing is just about torture for even the most acclaimed writers. It’s not meant to be easy. In the meantime I can take comfort from recent feedback, which has all been very positive. It’ll happen.
In line with all that one of the girls at work took me aside last week and said they had heard that I was a writer. She’d been told that I’d written something, and that actually it was really good. She was intrigued and full of questions, and naturally wanted to read something herself.
I was intrigued to. I’ve shared bits and pieces of the book with people at work, but not many and very little. I was curious to know what she’d heard, and from who, but at that time she couldn’t remember.
Later in the week I asked her again, and after some reflection revealed that she had been told about my writing by the girl here I like. Really? I thought. I was further intrigued.
She is not one of the people I’ve shared my writing with. I may have made a passing comment in the past about my writing, but hardly more than that. On top of all that we basically co-exist in a friendly silence at the moment. We haven’t had a decent conversation for weeks, and even random conversations are just about non-existent. It’s a strange situation for sure, but there’s nothing nasty or even uncomfortable about it. We seem both to accept this strange state of affairs, remote but well disposed, aware of the other but feeling no need to engage. On my own part I’m happy to let nature take its course, whichever way that is.
And so anyway it felt odd to me that she had spoken about me to this other girl, and stranger still that she would comment on something I thought she was virtually ignorant of.
I can only surmise that one of the people I have shared some writing with, or spoken to it about, has shared it with her. It felt odd to get the news (and, you know, I knew it would be her even when the other girl couldn’t remember. I felt it in my bones, though it made no sense.), but it was gratifying too. Gratifying that she would take the trouble to talk to another about me even when we don’t communicate at all, and gratifying that she thought positively of the writing too.
The clock ticks, but at some point it will strike midnight.