Fits and Starts in a Wind Tunnel

I have a terrible problem at times with lack of focus.

In a sustained burst. I can get huge quantities of work done. But if something interesting happens whilst I’m trying to do it, or I get a sudden inspiration, then I can just skip away.

Projects that are delayed might never happen, as I get involved in too much other stuff.

One such issue is my writing efforts. Having published a book a few years ago – 2007 to be exact – I assumed I’d be cranking others out.

What happened there?

The first one in what I considered to be ‘my genre’ – wise business advice delivered by wrapping the information up in fiction – was presented along the lines of the format of the ancient classic ‘1001 nights’. Although one critic found it to be “constrained by its literary device” it got a great reception. Still does.

With the follow up, I attempted to vaguely use the premise of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man.

After three chapters I felt had a turkey on my hands, so I just stopped. For a few years.

I got re-energised when Pete from Tea Trade suggested that my blogs could form a book.

I thought about that and decided that since those blogs are already publicly available, I would not just collect them and release them. But it did inspire a book to incorporate some blogs but with 80% new material, and that project is continuing.

The book – The Heart of Tea – had a few false starts and suggestions but I knuckled down a while back, hoping to finish it ahead of our European escapades. Sadly, that will not happen.

I gave the first half to Lady Devotea to read. This is actually the scariest moment in any book for me. What if she doesn’t like it? What if she has a massive problem with it?

She had a massive problem with it.

And the very worst thing about the problem concerned was that she was totally correct.

Whilst writing it, I concentrated on each little nugget by itself. When she read it a linear fashion, chapter after chapter, the book jarred in a very unfortunate way.

So. a few weeks ago. I lost the plot. I have written nothing at all on this project whilst I tossed and turned it around in my head, trying to recover from what was a necessary but unpleasant reality check.

I worked out how to fix it, sure. But I did not like the look of the ‘fix’. So I did nothing

And two days ago, I got the material out again, turned it and teased it, looking for an answer.

And I found one.

So, re-energised, I have decided that this book will be completed before I return home. Really. No excuses.

My plan to blog on Tea Trade every day for the next ten weeks will take a back seat. I will scale it back.

And by October 14th, The Heart of Tea will be born.

Unless I get distra… hey, is that a shiny thing? What is that shiny thing? So shiny!

13 thoughts on “Fits and Starts in a Wind Tunnel

  1. Ooh! May I see the shiny thing, please? (You are quite the inspiration, Robert.)

  2. The shiny things, are the distractions that help to sort out the mundane. The ideas that inflect the shimmer in the linear. Wishing you well on your journeys and anticipating the glittering manuscript.

  3. From the title I had visions of you holding onto your hat, ears and cheeks flapping in the gusts, trying to grab sheets of manuscript with your spare hand.

    Glad to see that you’ve seen the light at the end of that tunnel and look forward to reading the finished book!

  4. Haha I know the feeling. I’m a huge one for getting distracted, in fact writing this reply I’ve already checked Facebook and Twitter twice. Look forward to the book, if it’s anything like the blog you’ll be on to a winner!

  5. Thank you all for the positive replies. Someone just asked me about the title. The truth is, I was going to use an analogy of the upcoming trip rushing towards us as though we were in a wind tunnel, but, er, I got distracted.

  6. My, that’s awful news. Not doing the daily blogging on Tea Trade I mean. And to think that @peter somehow inspired you. Quite unsatisfactory. Don’t rush with the book. Take your time, visit the sites, chat away to @hiphopteashop @fay and others “out there” and tell us all about it day by day. We’ll miss you, and worry terribly if we don’t know what you’re up to.

    1. Which character? If it’s The Goddess of Tea or Jupiter Baycroft you should know I have another story featuring them in the book. So don’t upset them.

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