Project October Writing Journal – Part 9


Day 19

I went to have my licence renewed today. It’s ten years since I first got my licence and that meant I needed a new photograph. Can’t wait for the horrific results. Couldn’t be much worse than my passport though.

I wrote 250 words this afternoon and literally had my fingers poised over the keyboard to continue when I got a phone call from the recruiter who got me the job interview last week. I have a second interview the day after tomorrow but before then the interviewer wants to send me a brochure and get my take on it, what’s good, what’s bad, how I would change it. I swear, sometimes looking for work is worse than actually having a job in terms of how much time it eats up. And I’m not getting paid for it. Anyway, I’m not going to look at it until tomorrow. A writer’s got to have priorities, right?

I’ve written half of the second chapter of the third part now and it’s starting to work. The narrator is recapping how he stalks my main character while she goes to church, so I’ve written the priest delivering a homily in order to have some dialogue. It’s the second homily I’ve written into this book and I’m actually not too bad at them. A lot more interesting than the homilies I’ve listened to in churches over the years.

The more experience I have as a writer, the more astonished I am that people think they can get away with not hiring professionals to create content. I was talking with my mum on the weekend about the speech she has to deliver at my sister’s wedding in four days’ time. She doesn’t know what she is going to say and I told her that my sister wants her to talk about her recollections of the happy couple. My mum still didn’t know what she was going to say. I said, “Well, when was the first time you met Tim (my soon-to-be brother-in-law)?”

“At the airport,” she replied. My sister and her fiancé had gone on a group holiday together as friends and returned as boyfriend and girlfriend, revealing their new relationship when they were picked up from the plane.

“Stuff like that,” I said to Mum. “That’s what she wants the speech to be about. She wants you to add to the story of their relationship.” Then I added, “I can work with you on the speech if you like.” My offer was refused, which I’m fine about, but with one question I was able to elicit something that would be perfect as an opening to the speech. Imagine what we could have achieved if I’d asked a few more and helped write it down.

I’m sure whatever my mum says will be fine and I’m sure most business content is fine, but wouldn’t businesses rather have something dynamic and memorable? I guess it’s up to us as writers to get that message through. It’s not good enough to complain about all the bad or just okay content out there. We have to be able to demonstrate how it all eventually links back to reputation and sales and the bottom line.

Today’s Word Count: 1,438

Ongoing Tally: 18,231


Day 20

Busy day today, meaning I didn’t settle down and write until nearly half past eight in the evening. Spent a couple of hours doing the writing task from the potential employer, took a call about an entirely different job interview next week, went to pick up specialty diet cat food, got stuck in after school traffic, came home, made soup, ate soup, then spoke to my grandfather, mother and father on the phone. I’m finally writing now.

I’m up to a point where I’m showing something the reader has already seen from a different perspective and I find I am whizzing through these parts. It’s usually conversations between two people and the second time, of course, the dialogue doesn’t change so I can copy and paste it. I just have to reinterpret the context and feelings about the conversations from the other person’s point of view.

Which is all good. But I’ve finished chapter two of the third part and chapter three doesn’t contain any previously written material so the next few days of writing might necessarily be slower and take longer to emerge.

But I’m at that point where I’m so close to the end that I’m desperate to get there and not close enough to actually taste it, particularly because I know that even if I meet the daily target every day for the rest of this Project October, I still won’t finish the novel. I’m thinking I might extend this Project October in order to complete the first draft. It’s an extra two weeks of writing but it might be worth it if I can keep going. That would be six weeks of intensive writing though. Might be just a little more than I can handle. And I’d worry about whether the quality was suffering in my haste to get to the end. Hmmm. Something to consider anyway.

Today’s Word Count: 1,463

Ongoing Tally: 19,694


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