Gemini Soul

image by ClareDave

One thing writing gives me – and perhaps what I love about it most – is a sense of spaciousness.  In a story, there are no limitations; I’m free to zoom across time and place, in and out of characters’ heads.  But there’s more to it than that.  For me, the writing process permits a kind of innerspace, an intensely quiet space, an opening up of soul or spirit, something beyond the everyday.  I’ve posted before about the quality of listening I try to cultivate when I’m writing.  That listening fills me up, restores me to myself even though – ironically – I’m operating in a sphere that isn’t ‘real.’ 

That relationship with space shifts fundamentally when the writing becomes a to-be-published novel.  There’s no question that more is demanded than just the dreaming, the drafting and the editing of writing a novel (as if that weren’t enough!).  What’s required is a whole separate – often very new – set of skills.

With Sisterwives now at the printers, I’m working on any number of the following tasks, ones I associate more with business: list making, time management, drafting marketing action plans, negotiating over dates and budgets, event organising.  And let’s not forget: delegating the making of cupcakes.  I’m hoping cupcakes will feature large.  In some of the events, at least (although Waterstones in Manchester might not take too kindly to crumbs all over their stock).

Publishing is, after all, a business.  But I have to say that I’m enjoying this different way of working.  In part it’s logical and systematic, but that appeals to the control freak in me.  It’s also creative in a way I’m finding surprising and very different from the creativity of writing of the novel.  It can be dizzyingly multifarious: I’m considering the monologues I could write for a book trailer at the same time as liaising with the vicar about the local church as a possible launch venue.

Above all, I love how it’s allowing me to interact with people – those I know, those I don’t, strangers who have become potential readers.  It’s very different to the quiet innerspace, the silence and peace of the solitary writing.  It’s allowed me to embrace what I’ve come to think of as my ‘Gemini soul.’  Sometimes I have to be in there  – right at the heart and in the thick – talking and doing.  And there are other times when all I want is to be outside of it, alone on a cliff with eons of space in front of me, where I can write and not have to engage with the world.

Sisterwives wasn’t quite written at the cliff face, but the isolation and engagement with space were present for most of it.  From the midst of this current marketing-and-organisational frenzy, it’s an appealing place to be – and one I hope I’ll rediscover as I move deeper into working on future writing projects.  I suspect that, true Gemini that I am, I’ll always need both these things on my writing journey: the spaciousness of silence on a clifftop and that space opened up by meetings, connections and communicating in, and with, the world.

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