I'm writing a novel, the first draft of which can be found elsewhere on the site.

Writing had begun to feel more like a chore and less like a joy, so last week I decided to take it easy. The result was that I didn't write less, I just wrote other things (a "lessons learned while writing a novel" article and an entry in my neglected online journal). During the week I felt myself moving into mental writing space and wanting to write a couple of times, and on Friday I felt positively depressed and angry at myself for not working on the novel.

Another problem was that, with episodes 52 and 53, I was having another case of trying to push the story where it didn't want to go. (My protagonist is kept prisoner by a faction who wants to hand him over to the King. My plan was to have him fall into the King's hands, since I thought the confrontation between the two would be interesting. Where the story seems to want to go is to have him kidnapped by a third party before he reaches the King. Eventually I decided to accept the inevitable.)

I decided I wanted to write another 500+ words on Sunday, didn't feel like writing at all when I started, applied the ass-in-chair method, and ended up having a great deal of fun. In stead of straight adventure stuff episode 54 had a lot of dream weirdness in it, which I always enjoy writing. (When I sat down to write the image of a fox in the snow flashed past my eyes, so in this episode my protagonist dreams of a fox in the snow.)

Which brings me to the dream I had last night. As a lesson learned about writing it's pretty useless - don't say I didn't warn you.

Pulling fish from my nose

Yesterday morning at 3:30 a.m. I was still wide awake. Yesterday morning at 6:09 a.m. I was awake again. I suppose the alarm cloke woke me up, but I couldn't remember hearing it or switching it off.

Last night I did sleep well, but I had one of the weirdest dreams ever. The setting was somehow work-related though I wasn't at my own office. What I remember from the dream:

I'm not sure what happened to the fish after I pulled them out, as far as I can remember they just seemed to disappear into thin air.

Considering the difficulty I've been having putting any words to paper (when writing fiction, that is; when writing non-fiction I'm fine) pulling fish from my nose doesn't seem like such a bad metaphor for writing. It also ties in with some common symbols that keep coming back in my dreams: unused or underused talents often appear as small animals that have been entrusted to my care, and that I have to keep from attacking each other or harming themselves. Maybe I shouldn't worry too much about the number of words that I write each week. After all, they told me that all the little fish are going to come out in the end.


This article was written after writing episode 54 of the first draft of my novel After the War.
After the War (54)

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