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Friday, July 15, 2011

A moment reflecting: Coffee-stopping

Listen to what happened on my weekend (Monday)… I set out walking the streets of Jinzhou, in search of something after waking-up and feeling I could just sit down and start the next book. I already had an idea as to what it would be about… So I figured, why wouldn’t I be able to go to a coffee shop, set-up my ‘office’ (not staying at home was for the reason that I felt a flow of people around me would give me good buzz of excitement) and just start from something fresh and new… So… sitting in coffeeshop number 1… Humm… nothing was happening… I was just journaling… So, I figured, it was the wrong setting. So I moved to the food court on the otherside of town… I sat, I waited… nope… there wasn’t even any journaling… I didn’t even switch-on my laptop! I wasn’t even holding a pen! What happened then? I got frustrated of course! I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t able to simply write this book… By this stage I was too much inside my own head… So I forced myself to end the ‘coffee stopping’ and I started to make my way home…before going to just one more coffee shop; it was only number 3… I sat and didn’t even give a thought to what I should be writing about. At that point I figured I’d already gone too far and it only led me to feel clogged and stuck. I was forcing something into being that obviously wasn’t ready to come to life just yet.

All this coffee-stopping, was such an interesting thing to do (and not because of the coffees…I wasn’t actually drinking cappuccinos or lattes but tea and milky drinks instead  … caffeine and I don’t work well together!). That evening I felt like such a loser: if I claim to be a writer then why can’t I just sit and start another book? I couldn’t figure it out… I felt like it had been weeks since I’d finished my first book and I was lagging behind. But then, I realized: it had actually only been 3 full days since I’d been running around the office shouting full of joy that I’d finished my first book… since that morning, I’d been teaching and lesson planning for 3 solid days (up until Sunday evening and had worked a 20 hour weekend and I actually expected to be able to wake-up after such days and instantly start the next book… Man oh man… I had to remind myself I’m only human…

So… what’s happened since then? I’ve accepted that right now, I’m in the middle of 2 books. I’m finding a home for book 1 (as I’m contacting agencies again and only got word back from the one Dublin…he’s reviewing the book and will reply in August... so that’s good news!) and book 2 is brewing away inside. I’ve a few ideas floating around but nothing enough yet for the writing to actually start.

Writing one book doesn’t automatically mean that writing another will take the same amount of time… it won’t come about in the same manner either… Because, back then I was in Ireland and now I’m in China. Back then I wasn’t working and now I’m teaching. Back then the writing was allowed to take over my life. But now… that can’t be the way… because I’ve a life alongside the writing, and it takes up more of my time and focus. So, it will be different this time round. But one fact of the matter remains the same: before a book can actually be written and take on a life of its’ own… the idea needs to grow bigger and bigger until I can do nothing else, other than sit down and actually put it into words… hummm…

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