My yet to be written novel.

Monday 5th October, 2020

old time

5.23am AEDT (formerly 4.23am AEST)

It’s a public holiday, Labour Day. It’s spring, it’s the second day of daylight saving. Here I sit, wondering how my writing routine is going to react to this arbitrary changing of clocks.

The clock on the fridge still displays non-daylight saving time, ie, one hour earlier than what all our mobile phones and computers are saying. They automatically adjust, algorithms. The clock on the fridge requires the pressing of two buttons simultaneously, thus it stays, for the moment, on the ‘old time’. My watch, which requires several button presses in a unique combination I always forget, was never changed when daylight saving finished back in April, last Autumn. Now it reads the correct time again. See how slack I am?

What is the real time? Let’s just say very early morning, the dark variety. Writing time.

Labour Day? A public holiday to commemorate the achievements of the Union movement? A day to remember the sacrifices of workers? I’m not sure. I could Google it, but I don’t like internetting early in the morning. It takes me away from writing and before I know it, it is not early morning anymore and I have become distracted and agitated from reading the opinions of the world. I lose my creative writing mojo.

Mojo? Sitting next to me on a stool is a big Australian English dictionary. I look up ‘mojo’. It is colloquial for life force. It is also a word from ‘US Black English’ for a magic charm, amulet. I think of Black America, and I wonder if the POTUS has died overnight from COVID-19. I could look it up on the internet, but refrain. I want to write.

Specifically, I want to write my next book, which stupidly I have somehow got into my head, should be a novel. Stupidly, I say, because I now have this massive thing swirling around in my head, let’s call it, ‘my yet to be written novel’. It’s massive and morphing. I have made several starts, none have been sufficiently captivating to captivate me sufficiently. And so this thing, ‘my yet to be written novel’, loiters in my head and stirs up those monkey voices that tell me I am not capable of writing a novel and not sufficiently hard working or disciplined for the task.

Novel? ‘A fictitious prose narrative of considerable length’, (Dictionary on stool, 2020). See what I do in my allocated time for writing my next book? Stuff like this. Slack, eh?

It’s OK. I like to think that I don’t have unrealistic expectations of others and I try to apply the same to my self. Dropping the word ‘should‘ from the self talk vocabulary is a good start. Of course I’m going to struggle to get a novel underway. Of course I will struggle with keeping up the enthusiasm needed to pump out 50,000 plus words (considerable length). Of course I will question at every step of writing a novel whether this ‘thing’ is of any worth, and worst of all, if I am of any worth. It’s OK, I’m getting better at shutting out the monkey voices.

The beginning of daylight saving, though occurring in spring, is in many ways the start of summer. I’m grateful I don’t have to do physical labour in summer. Especially since summer is of considerable length – and lengthening. I’m grateful for being able to write, and for the moments of mojo experienced as I struggle with my next book (novel?), in the dark, now twilight, of early morning.

5:55am AEDT

7 thoughts on “My yet to be written novel.

  1. Sean, don’t stress. Might I suggest that you have conversations with that monkey? I imagine you are doing fine, and that Yet To Be Written will very soon be The Great Novel I Am Writing Every Morning. You will find a better title than that – you are after all the writer who wrote the story Dead People Don’t Make Jam. Go to it. Best wishes, Carmel

  2. I can so relate to this Sean….the swirling thoughts of self-doubt mixed with the news and random words and their meaning. It was good to tap into your writer’s brain as the stuff going on in there could be in my brain, switching off can be difficult in our digitally saturated world. Take care x

  3. I find it very interesting that you wrote down your early morning thoughts, Sean. If your novel was about a writer, I reckon something like this would be a good introdution to a novel. I am sure, I would continue reading! Isn’t it said that good novels have a lot of the author’s persona in them? 🙂

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