I think my creative retreat is deeper than I first acknowledged. For professional reasons I want to leap into writing short pieces but I am far from leaping. A novel is a great mecha suit, immense powers but within strict rules. Wearing it so long has left a host of implants and fixators that need to work themselves out of my creative body.
I need to figure out where I am. I have an attraction for things macabre, things out of joint, and even archaic language and rhythms. Not that I want to write pastiche, but perhaps some fantastic tales in a place with a passion for elegance over speed. I think I am not alone in wanting to find such a terrain, neither as artist nor as audience. But maybe it will only be found blindly.
I have already made the mistake of starting too soon. I dove into writing days after leaving my technical career, which made my new job less a reward than a demotion to something far less glamorous and energetic. I should have taken a long car trip but instead I sat in my basement and withered. I have the same feeling now.
And yes I still want to edit the novel, again, but I can’t keep running to an asymptote. At this point I think it’s enough to get going on finding professional representation.
I feel what editing I continue to do on the novel I should do away from the keyboard. After thirty years writing into a screen directly is second nature, but I don’t feel ready to argue with my workspace over whether I should be editing yet again, or writing new work.
The nerd in me considered ordering a Lenovo Windows 8 tablet (larger and cheaper than an iPad) thinking I would edit a PDF with a stylus. Alas, even cheap new gear still has a huge cost in time, and manuscript editing on a screen sucks. Cheap copy paper printouts on a clipboard and colored pens give me an infinite palette of editing tools. I can even scan them in.
So I’ve printed out the book, single sided, double-spaced, clipboard ready. When I have some amusing marginalia I will post images.