Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hivemind

Cate Blanchett on winning an Oscar:  " Maybe it's just the pessimist in me when I say I feel like I've peaked."

I can understand how the brain works in these situations. Salt Story has been quite successful for a first book but coming down from the launch and the subsequent media has been pretty interesting. I still haven't finished my next book, and looking over it; it's shit. I don't like the writing. As a writer, I can see it reads like a workhouse tome, the plot is crap and it is laboured with the academic examiner looking over my shoulder. I thought I avoided that clique'd difficult second book scenario by writing them both at the same time but I sure punked myself on that one. Maybe, maybe this is it? Maybe, after all those years I have pulled off one good book and this is it.

I've been working for a landscaper friend lately. Authors, artists and actors may be famous in the media gaze but in reality, while they are busy creating content for the masses, most of them are sustaining themselves working their usual gardening round or teaching kids how to add, subtract and spell. My boss is an actor and a musician, which is cool because he will periodically ask me to pay attention when he puts down the hedge trimmer to sing a song or recite some Shakespeare. It's always a good lurk on a hot day to rest up on a shovel and listen to him. He's starred in soapies, pub bands, plays and advertisements since the 1980s but the whole time he has stayed grounded: whipper snippering down the the vincas, kikuyu, geraniums and other entwining rods that more comfortably waged folk have built for their own backs.



17 comments:

  1. Write it again - fuck it, it's early days.

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  2. Say hi to him for me please. Hope he's well. From the very small amounts you've posted here I doubt book two is as cliqued as you fear. Remember, story counts for a great deal and it's a nearly new story. Your writing is plenty good enough.

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    1. Yes I will Ciaran - and yes he is. Irrepressible as always!

      One of my mates said I was 'over reading' and I think she may be right.

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  3. I sooooo could have written this - different scenario, but the same shit going on in my head. I took a last long look at the exhibition on Sunday and said out loud: I'll never top this. Believe me, I know exactly how you are feeling. People around me are asking: What's next? And I just give them a blank confused look. I have some ideas, but will need some space to let things settle.

    And I still haven't heard from the examiners, so the 'success' could all be an illusion. XX

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    1. Ohh, good luck Michelle. I'm sure though, that you will breeze through the examination. Your work is solid.

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  4. Agree with Tom above, and would only add: your prose is too beautiful and your storytelling ability too good for you to be a one off my girl. So, yeah.

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    1. Yay! Thanks Jenny - and thanks for the shout on Liz's article. I was going to write something about it tonight, but have just driven the 400km to be with family in Perth, and feeling a bit drained. Beautiful review.

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  5. Well, if you're worried about the correct way to shape a professional writing career, I haven't got a clue; but if you're just worried that you've written something that's a bit crap, here's my 0.02¢ worth:

    If you still want to write, keep writing. If you write a lot, some of it's bound to be crap. If you think it's worth salvaging and you still want to work on it, do that; if not, move on to the next thing. Maybe your third book will be spectacular, or your fourth, or whatever. But if you get discouraged because you think you'll never top your first work, well, you never will, will you?

    On the other hand, if you don't actually want to write anymore, then why torture yourself? At least you're not completely dependent on it for income, right? That would be a different story, and in which case, refer to my opening sentence.

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    1. Exactly what I needed to hear Alex.
      On thinking about it while driving, I reckon it is mostly confected angst anyway.
      Onwards. :~)

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  6. Hi Cargo ... welcome to a winedark sea.

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  7. It'll pass. How sensible is Alex to put our shared expectations into perspective. I peaked in my 30s but I decided not to stop living. I've found a whole lot of other things to peak at. Perfect for myself as a a blind optimist and a self deluded one at that.

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    1. You're too kind, Mr Hat. If only I could be sensible about everything, eh?

      And hey, how many creative people have you seen that've hit a second creative peak later in life after a prolonged dip of plateau? They'd never have gotten there if they'd thrown in the towel, right?

      I consider myself a realist, rather than an optimist, but other people tell me I'm too much of a pessimist. I'm not a person who naturally expects good things, but I try not to worry too much about bad things, unless it's finding practical ways to deal with them.

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  8. 'Cate Blanchett on wining an Oscar ...'
    Why didn't anyone tell me? You've all had a week. Jesus! (sorry Jesus).
    Winning, not wining.

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  9. Hey Sarah, checkit. Un autre review for Salt Story: http://anzlitlovers.com/2013/12/18/salt-story-by-sarah-drummond/#comment-47633

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  10. Thanks Jen. I got it emailed to me the moment Lisa posted it. What a great blog.

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