Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

The Last Ditch 11 & 12: Sprint Finish

Slow and steady wins the war. Not the nuclear war. The other wars. From history and stuff, most like. I don’t really know. I’ve never done a war. If you did a war once feel then free to leave a comment on the accuracy or otherwise of that advice. I’m not as certain that it holds up under scrutiny as I was at the start of this paragraph

Anyway, I had a good plan. I like plans. Plans make it feel like things that haven’t happened yet might happen soon. My plan was to split up each week between three writing projects, putting a day in on a weird little vanity project I have going on, another day on short stories, and then three on a novella I’ve been pulling together. Sure, it meant that all three were slow going, but it also meant I didn’t get bored by any of them as I went along.

I held to the plan for about two and a half months. I’ll probably go back to it in a couple of weeks.

Right now though, plan go boom.

Which is another war metaphor. I’m not obsessed with wars. Not at all.

For the last couple of weeks though, an anti-plan has happened. The novella got a bit hyperactive, and I’ve been chasing it round and round my word processor trying to slip it something soothing. No time for vanity projects.  No time for short stories. Just this madcap novella soaking up what limited writing time I have.

I can’t complain too much. It looks like the first draft will be all but done this week, finally. The story has been hanging over me for the longest time, and getting it out of my brain and into the page, where I can turn it from a sort of story-splurge into something with shape, will make me very happy.

What changed? I’m not quite sure, to be honest. I wonder if it’s the fact that the end of the week represents the end of the first quarter of this Last Ditch year. That’s in no way a hard deadline for anything at all, but it is a psychological one. The idea of getting to the end of the first quarter with nothing to show was oddly icky. I’ve worked hard these last months. I need me some sugar.

So the novella has its head, for the rest of this week at least, and let’s see if it gets to the finish line. Next week I’m away from my keyboard, so will probably spend my writing time with a notebook and a short story. After that, well, I’ll see how I want to move forward from there. For all that I’m casting the plan aside for a bit, it’s that same plan which has put me close enough to the end of the project to make it worth a final dash.

Plan done good.

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