What I’m writing – prolific?

I have been decluttering my house. Sort of. Well, trying to, anyway.

We are hoarders. He keeps the boxes of everything he ever bought. I keep broken things thinking I might fix them one day and things with strong memories. The kids can’t bear to part with any of their toys…

We have a lot of stuff and I’m totally sick of having a lot of stuff.

So I’m throwing it away. It’s a slow and painful process.

At the weekend, I tackled the fifteen plastic bags full of paper in our bed room. Yes, fifteen. I reduced it to a few plastic folders and a box. It’s a work of art. Seriously. And that’s what most of the paper was too. Artwork.

My daughter is a prolific artist. She has taken to stealing my notepads because she fills hers up so quickly. She writes stories and illustrates them, or pens letters to send to me and her brothers. The girl has talent. You think I’m mad with my 50,000 words in a month – she most definitely produces the five year old equivalent. She reads everything (I’ve hidden any left over manuscript sheets they used to use for scrap paper) and then puts her own twist on it.

She’s an amazing child, and her determination and the sheer size of the piles of artwork I had to bin find an alternative home for was inspiring. She has such a huge imagination that she triggered something in mine and I sat down with my latest WIP for the first time in weeks.

To my utter shock, I pushed nearly 4000 words that night, driven by the newly forming storyline, a perfect male “hero” (he’s just a man really. A very human man. He’s a bit bumbling, with a hint of intensity and a hug that feels like it could swallow you whole in the most delicious way.) And a strong feminist protagonist who is living life her way. It feels like it’s coming together to create a neat little “novel”. I have that burst of excitement going on, the feeling that this might actually work and not be totally shit even though I know that all first drafts are shit.

Muddled Manuscript

16 thoughts on “What I’m writing – prolific?

  1. All works of genius were first drafts once my lovely, they can’t all be total and utter shit that never see the light of day. Don’t be so hard on yourself!! Well done for tackling the decluttering, not a favourite chore. Your daughter sounds amazing xx

    1. She is. I love her creativity. Her mind is a very full, complex and beautiful place. Decluttering has slowed a bit, although the word counts are increasing and I seem to have acquired some direction! Yay. x

  2. Your daughter sounds a lot like mine-we have drawings, workings out, new languages, ideas everywhere too. And very so often I need to de-clutter. Hate doing it but I feel better afterwards though! And I agree, every first draft will need work, but it doesn’t mean it’s shit at all.

    1. New languages? Love how creative they are and that they feel free to indulge their imaginations like this. My middle child is starting to join in too, and his imagination is growing (he recently started drawing faces and arms and legs which came all of a sudden since he showed no interest in any of it for a long time!) It’s quite an adventure here sometimes!

  3. I find it so hard to chuck stuff out, mine love to draw too and I keep putting all the pictures in boxes and then they go in the loft. I don’t ever want to move, it will be hellish trying to sort that lot out! 4,000 words in one go? Wow. And Renee is so right, the first draft is always a bit of an awkward one, but you have to start somewhere and most of the writing is in the editing (which I think is an overused phrase but true though) x

    1. I hate editing my own stuff. I end up ripping it up and then I don’t know where to start and it all goes horribly wrong. I panic about it . :(. I can edit other people’s things though without a problem. I’m about 13k into this story now, so it’s coming really fast. We have two boxes full of artwork hanging around in various rooms and more stacked up on the dining room table. It breeds. x

  4. Your daughter sounds awesome and hugely creative – obviously runs in the family! My boys are prolific artists too and my eldest writes ‘books’. I’m really ruthless with it all though. I do keep (what I consider to be) the best drawings and a lot of the writing but I regularly put masses into the recycling otherwise I start to feel overwhelmed by it all! I love your new idea for a romantic story – bet the first draft wont be shit but it’s reassuring to think that it’s fine if it is, isn’t it? xx

    1. Your boys are awesome. L isn’t quite at the stage where she wants to join in the blog thing; she might do it if I ask her to draw something specific. Thank you, I love the idea too (modest as ever) and it feels like it’s happening. Maybe…

  5. Your daughter sounds amazing Chrissie! And it’s fantastic that she’s sparked something in your imagination too – the potential novel sounds exciting and I love the way you describe your ‘hero’ as ‘a hug that feels like it could swallow you whole in the most delicious way’. I love him already. As for decluttering, Mr B is a massive hoarder but I’m not so much… I love a good clear out! Not sure about Mushroom yet so I always check (or leave it a few months) before throwing out anything of his (oh, the artworks, so many)!

    1. Aww, yes, the hero will hopefully capture a few hearts. He’s not a conventional hero and I like that. I love that they do these things at school and preschool but can’t they leave them there to be displayed or something? haha x

  6. I reckon there is a direct correlation between the decluttering and having the headspace to write… Even without the inspiration of your clearly brilliant daughter! Our house is such a mess at the moment – I can’t wait until I have the chance to tidy up. Keep up the good work – looking forward to hearing more about your novel xx

    1. Thank you, Sophie. Seems the little bit of rubbish I got rid of was enough to kickstart things again. You’ll be sick of hearing about it by the time I’ve finished it. xx

  7. That is some serious hoarding going on there. Mind you, if it produces inspiration in such high quantities as it obviously has this week for you, then it’s worth hanging on to all that stuff. Your daughter sounds amazing. What a fantastic source of creative ideas.

    1. Thank you. She is definitely something else. I wish I could see inside her mind sometimes. I hope she doesn’t get the really down moments that tend to travel hand-in-hand with extreme creativity though. Now back on track with the writing so hopefully will be at Friday Fiction (if I don’t forget about it!)

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