So, I’ve missed my initial chapter 22 deadline 🙁 and I have to admit that I’ve been a little burned out – though I didn’t really see it. Getting away from Cait and Riley for a day, and editing my old, shamelessly sweet short story (which I posted, thank you to those who have read it :)) gave me a lovely sense of completion, which one doesn’t get for months or years when writing a novel. Then, a couple of days ago, my mother-in-law reminded me that we had not yet been to the Monet exhibit at the NGV, so we went! It was lovely to get way from the desk, to spend time with her (she is one of those few, wonderful people who can go to an exhibition with someone but is happy to separate and allow each to have our own experience) and, of course, to see some much-loved works up close. Most importantly, though, wandering around the exhibit, I felt my creativity fuel tank refilling and I realized just how empty it had become (ooh, that’s almost Julia Cameron-esque!)
My favourite piece was one which, unfortunately, wasn’t considered worthy of printing and framing, or turning into an umbrella or a mug, so I wasn’t able to take it home; it’s one in the much-loved series “waterlilies” but it is a study, rather than a completed work. When you see it next to the many works he later based on it, it is clearly the painter’s equivalent of an outline. For me this painting is a glimpse into a mind that considered, and planned, and experimented, and doubted, and loved, and strove to perfect – and it reminded me that even for “the greats” no good work, let alone great work, comes out whole and perfect all at once.
So, I decided I need to take a week or so off to continue to refill my creative fuel tank – and, as luck would have it, the Melbourne Writer’s Festival starts today! I was booking late, so I missed a few good talks, but I think I’ve got myself into some great ones – including a full day on the digital future of books, sponsored by Wattpad!
Most of my talks are Friday – Mondays, so if I think I can do well by the piece, I’ll work on chapter 22 on my “off” days, but I might also just forbid myself so that I’m wound up like a jack-in-the-box to get going again after the Festival!
If there is any specific information that I think might be useful to my fellow writers, I’ll do my best to blog about it – though I’m sure I’ll also be exhausted so it won’t necessarily be on the same day!
To all my readers waiting for chapter 22, I hope you understand that I am doing this so that I can give you the very best work that I can. I look forward to posting a cracker of a chapter for you in a couple of weeks, if not before!
In the meantime, here is a slide show of the water lilies study and a few works that were based on its structure – which also illustrates my previous post, come to think of it! The images are all from http://www.claude-monet.com – Enjoy!