Wednesday, 1 July 2015

NEXT! by Penny Dolan

Some days,  especially when trying to move something towards a finish, the writing life seems to hold an awful lot of "NEXT". Idly riffling through the “NEXTS” in my head I find:

The Immediate NEXTS, the thoughts like:
What, today, should I do next?
What happens next in my work-in-progress?
What’s the best scene to write next?
When will I next get a gap for some writing time?
And . . .

The Bigger NEXTS, such as:
What kind of writing project should I do next?
What’s the next thing I want to write, next thing I should write?
Which of all the half-done things should I seize on next?
Should the next story be the same or different?
Sigh. Will there even be a next book?
And when will I next hear from x or y about z?
And also . . . 

The Need to Know NEXTS that come nagging, like:
What’s the next big thing – and who’s the next big thing?
What’s next in the book-world calendar –  Carnegie & Greenaway, Super Thursday, seasonal shut-downs, and more? 
As well as . . .

The Practical NEXTS that pile up alarmingly, for example:
Which admin email should I deal with next?
What school event / library event is coming up next?
When will the next payment be in my bank account?
What shall I do next, if schools can’t fund visits any more? 

And not forgetting the plaintive cry of : When are we eating next?

There’s many more . . . and I’m sure you could add to the list. Although “being in the moment” is the big self-help thing right now, how often those wretched NEXTS come rattling into the writing zone! 

Meanwhile, and NEXT, something truly lovely to watch . . .

Penny Dolan


Sue Purkiss said...

That's different! Very clever!

Joan Lennon said...

Loved the video! Thanks for that -

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

That was absolutely brilliant Penny... your words and the video. Makes you want to work in animation. Can just imagine how long that clip took to make though. What fools these mortal be...

The very next NEXT is... all the publishers go on summer holiday before they have decided whether they will next take your next project!!!

Hayley N. Jones said...

Ah, yes, I know that feeling! I'm getting better at focusing on now, rather than the nexts, and taking action instead of getting lost in a confusion of "what next?"s but it's a never ending learning process...

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