Drops of Blood

Writing is hard. It’s not all plaid smoking jackets, long languorous looks at the gums trees outside the window, and sups of tea in-between graceful key strokes. Being a writer is romantic; doing the writing is another story. It’s a job, like other jobs, it just pays a whole lot less.

That’s all I have to say on that really. This isn’t a post about the process of writing, it’s just an update on my writing, so I won’t go into the whole ‘writing is romantic’ thing lest this post never ends.

The first draft of my novel is finished (ahead of schedule I might add, with more than a hint of amour-propre) and I’m currently struggling to even begin the second. This is all about the research side of it, which I decided to completely ignore in the first draft. Basically I now have to do all the stuff that isn’t any fun! I know a lot of writers enjoy the research side of things. I was listening to an interview with Geraldine Brooks the other day about her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, People of the Book and she said she adored the research side of writing. Yes. Adored, people, adored.

Anyway, while taking a deep breath before tackling draft two, I’m preparing a submission for the Iremonger Award (Allen & Unwin). The prize is $10,000 with guaranteed publication and royalty rights of the (non-fiction) book. They want sample chapters, synopsis etc etc, so I’m hard at work on that and planning to spend no more than a week on it so I can get back to the novel.

I’ve been doing a fair amount of reviewing lately, including an interview with Chris Kabay, the Artistic Director of Yellow Glass Theatre, and have also somehow found time to write and submit a few short stories and flash pieces to several journals. Will let you know what comes of all of this when I (eventually) find out.

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler



Filed under Art, Australia, Fiction, Flash fiction, My Book, Review, Submission, Theatre, Uncategorized, Writing, Zines

17 responses to “Drops of Blood

  1. Ken Kiser

    Congratulations on finishing the rough. It’s always nice to be able to change your focus, even when working with the same project. Second drafts can give an old, tired MS new life. You might even find yourself getting excited about it again.


  2. Congratulations, it sounds like you have everything perfectly under control. Don’t forget to breathe ocassionally,


  3. Oh, ow. I have those drops of blood on my forehead As We Speak.

    It sounds like your writing is going wonderfully. Congratulations! And good luck with your submissions.


  4. Congratulations! Enjoy the sensation of finishing the jolly thing before jumping headlong into the second draft.

    I laughed to myself reading this post – I try never to figure out what I “earn” as a writer, because breaking it down to an hourly wage is too depressing.

    I also wrote my first draft sans research…well not entirely but the second and the soon to be started third draft have been about finding what I don’t know about.

    Like graphology. Kinda important for a novel called The Graphologist’s Apprentice no?

    My philosophy is that I didn’t know what I didn’t know and that I needed to find my story before I found the supporting facts.

    Again congratulations!!


  5. I always LOVED that quote about the drops of blood forming…

    You’ve done the draft – fantastic! It’s always a good idea to put it away for a while too before you embark on the second. See it with fresh eyes.

    šŸ™‚ LM


  6. Hi Simonne,
    Yes, it is a bother, all that research. I’ve found that if I do the research before I even start the draft it goes better. It’s harder to go back and do research once you’ve set the story in a cast so to speak. Don’t know what kind of research you need to do but you are a smart girl, so I’ve no doubt you will do fine.

    Yes, writing is hard work. And I drip blood on pages on a regular basis myself. One of my favorite quotes by the way.



  7. Thanks Ken. I am still excited about it, as it the whole thing is quite new really – have only been writing it this year šŸ™‚

    Paul – thanks for the tip! I’m back to my running routine so the breathing thing is under control!

    Thanks Charlotte, you too šŸ™‚

    Whiti, I’m in complete agreement about finding the story first. I love reading about your progress, you’re very inspiring šŸ™‚

    LM, that’s one of my absolute favourite quotes too šŸ™‚

    Annie, I can see you being a research first kinda girl šŸ™‚ Thanks for the hugs!


  8. romi41

    This was…so timely. More often than not I am far too focused on the “idea” of being a writer; this was recently pointed out to me…it was humbling to say the least, but I grudgingly admit that I needed it.

    Well…enough said on that šŸ˜‰

    Good luck on the award submission, my fingers will be crossed for you!


  9. Good luck on winning the award. 10,000 bucks comes in handy.


  10. Ah yes, Romi, you go girl… šŸ™‚

    Thanks Evyl – it’s a long shot, but worth a try!


  11. K. Jayne Cockrill

    Congrats on finishing the first draft. Second draft is much easier, I find. You already know what’s going to happen and you can focus on making the writing even better, fix plot holes, and add in a touch of humor or suspense where needed. I have two books, one in the first draft stage, one in the I-don’t-want-to-look-at-it-again stage (though I will!). You are right, being a working writer is not nearly so romantic as imaging the life of a successful writer. But I’m still going for it! šŸ™‚



  12. Gene had it right….drops of blood instead of sweat. Congrats on the finish of the first draft. Don’t worry you’ll do what you need to finish the 2nd.
    Lots of luck, kim


  13. hierophant4582

    Research sucks ass. That’s why I like fiction. Just make the stuff up and call it a day…haha.


  14. Hi KJ, thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you’re going for it – from the looks of your writing over at your place, you should be šŸ™‚

    Kim! You’re back! (Big grins). So nice to see you. I’ll pop over soon šŸ™‚

    Well Hiero, sorry to disappoint you, but my book is fiction. More often than not you have research to do in fiction as well. Sigh!


  15. hierophant4582

    That’s true, but it’s def a lot less. It all depends on the book I guess.


  16. Hmmm…I tend to go waver, sometimes I crave
    the research, other times, it’s like why can’t I
    afford an assistant to do this “stuff”.
    Love quote, waiting for the blood to form on
    one’s forehead!


  17. True, Hiero šŸ™‚
    Welcome Cynthia šŸ™‚ An assistant would be awesome!!


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