Thursday, October 20, 2011

When writing a novel doesn't go according to plan...

I've mentioned before how characters and situations in my stories often take turns that I had not intended and many a time it's like a slippery wrestling match between them and me. I think, most of the time, there's a happy truce in the end and the finished product is the better for it.

But, what happens when the writing doesn't go to plan and it's got nothing do with characters or storyline but to do with real life people and events?

I do moan, a bit, I know about how busy my life is: wife, mother, teacher, general do-too-much-for-everyone yaddi yaddi yaddi. What I haven't said is, that, added to the above has been a serious health issue for me which has taken a good few months out the year to sort out and still requires time and energy as I make my way to improved health, our family has been wrestling with... and here I pause, trying to be accurate without betraying someone else's struggle...wrestling with mental illness which keeps manifesting itself in erratic and 'out-of-the-blue' events.

The latter sucks the hours and the energy. For example, I spent Wednesday from 6:30pm until 3:30am today at the emergency dept of our hospital. When we got home, I was wired and couldn't sleep so tried to work on the novel. About 30 mins into that I thought 'What the hell are you thinking? Go to sleep. Forget the deadline.'

Today has been a complete write-off - for the four of us. I am juggling the emotions of being on edge for my loved one and checking on them constantly, the anxiety of the looming deadline, the guilt that I still keep dreaming up scenes and conversations for the story which is alive and humming and just being held back by shear exhaustion.

So, in response to the title? I haven't been aware of similar situations of other authors having their personal circumstances impinge on the their ability to fulfill their contact.

I'll let you know my story when the book has been patted on the bum and sent to the printers.

4 comments:

jtwebster books said...

Holding you all in my prayers.

Rachael King said...

Ach, I feel for you Tania. Real life has a horrible way of getting in the way sometimes.

Netherland said...

Before I Go to Sleep is an absolutely absorbing read. It is one of those books that you really need to clear some time for, because once you begin, you will not be able to put it down.

TK Roxborogh said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Netherland. I 'googled' the title and then was reminded about all the fabulous reviews. Def on my TBR list