Today I found myself right at the end, and writing THE END before I knew what I was doing.
Then I immediately got out of my chair, waltzed left, waltzed right, chasse’d left, soutenu’d and posed. Turns out that’s my happy dance!
The Integration Project is DONE at just over 85,000 words. So my original estimate of about 90,000 wasn’t far off the mark.
And it turned out that a bunch of scenes I’d scoped for the ending were totally unnecessary. They were eaten up by the prose as I wrote it, and all of a sudden, there we are.
Yes, the book ends on a cliffhanger.
It’s not necessary for me to write a second one in the series. It would take considerable thinking for it to be something vaguely interesting, but I am never going to say never.
The funny thing was that today’s writing was the smoothest, easiest writing I’ve done in a long time. It all started with the morning’s meditation. The ways I live and work with spirit aren’t everyone’s cup of tea so I don’t need to write about it here, but it did have a profound impact on how I approached my work today.
So, what next?
Well, the very first thing to do is print this baby out, tie her up, and hide her in a dark place away from the world for about three months. Which means that it’s time to Unpack and revisit Ultimatum.
Which, by the way, I have firmly decided to rewrite as a radio play. That’s my second task: To rewrite and start producing Ultimatum as a podcast.
My next stretch however, is to write by hand. To be able to conceive and write – something – entirely by hand, in ink.
In terms of my writing, though, you may have seen me write this piece about being an Essayist. I’ve done myself the dishonour of disregarding my natural form, I think. Kind of like trying to be something you’re not, and trying to do what other people do. In order to reverse the damage that this does to one’s psyche, I fully intend to go through all of the essays that I’ve published here and pull them together into my first collection of essays.
That’s something I can do really quickly; all I actually require is a cover designer, and I’m sure I can find someone. I sent an email off to Black Inc. Books early this afternoon asking if they can help me track someone down, so we shall see! I have loads of things I want to achieve in terms of my creative work, but I really need to slow down and focus on what’s going to get the greatest output, be the easiest for me to buy into, and genuinely stretch me as a professional writer.
Even though I’ve been talking to patrons about writing a young adult fiction series, I’m feeling drawn back into the Essay.
That’s happening because of the Propaganda Project. It’s caused me to read and identify more strongly with essayists with whom I fell in love, like Clive James and George Orwell. The essay is a maligned form, and she’s a difficult mistress. She requires you to be a sharp, strong thinker, clear in expression, careful with your words. She’s unforgiving about messiness, poor argumentation and poor development. She doesn’t handle wordiness easily (my achilles heel), makes you look like an amateur if that’s what you are.
My existing essays are Amateur Hour, almost every one. Releasing a collection of early works feels like a right of passage, in a sense. Striving to write a mature collection of essays, in the style of Orwell or Leys, will require the kind of effort that my Lazy Essayist rarely considers. Perhaps the most effortful type of essay I’ve written recently was this assessment of the Liberal Party’s posters campaign in the Boothby electorate in the election just gone. Essayists are the poor cousins of biography writers; the functional sisters of journalists; the looked-down-upon harlots of writerly society when compared to those who write fiction, or literature.
Yet, crafting essays that are as highbrow as outstanding literature… that’s the challenge. The type of essay that, like Orwell’s, grab you from the first sentence and don’t let you go.
So, I seem to have argued myself into a corner. Ha!
If you want to be an Alpha Reader of The Integration Project, you’ll need to be in the First Readers Club. The same applies if you want to be in the Alpha Audience for Ultimatum. If you’re not, then all active patrons still get access early – you guys just won’t get them weeks or months in advance of everybody else. You might say the First Readers is for True Fans only. 😉
Now that I’ve exploded my excitement all over the internet, I am going to go out into the sunshine.
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