Too Many Irons In The Fire

M.C. Escher 1960 lithograph Ascending and Descending





N.B. This was originally posted 1st December 2011.

Well now I’m in a pickle.

I seem to have taken hold of my steadfast working model and pulled it to pieces for no good reason other than some deep seated belief that as ‘an artist’ (ahem) and a human being one must keep evolving or else sink into the mire.  So, much like the old radios I used to deliberately destroy and then rebuild as a child, last year’s model of EJM has been redesigned.  Trouble is, I’m not sure whether it’s actually an upgrade or not.

The old system used to run on late nights, fags, wine and the principle of repeatedly beating one particular project into submission until either it was finished or else I was.  Now take a look at the bright, shiny new me.  I work in the daytime, sober and minty-fresh and flit from book to screenplay to book to other screenplay.  So far, so very pious.  Except I don’t seem to be getting very far.  I am now working on four separate projects and seem unable to let any of them go.  Some are still early drafts but two in particular really ought to be the hands of others if only they were in my eyes, finally, absolutely, no-going-back, ready.  I know I should probably try and concentrate on one project but which one?  What if I make the wrong choice?  What if the screenplay is but one draft away from perfect but I choose to labour for the next year on getting the book finished, by which time the screenplay is so far from my consciousness as to never be resurrected?  Maybe what I really ought to be doing is promoting the book that IS out there – but then where’s the instant-gratification in that?

I appear to be continually trudging uphill only to find I’m in almost exactly the same place as when I started.  Talk about Escheresque…

Having said all that, there are some rogue drafts out there.  One agent in particular has asked to see my work and so I’ve flung just about everything I have at them and we’ll see whether any of it sticks.  In the meantime I shall re-draft a scene here, kill off a character there, maybe even completely re-write the ending…who knows?

One thing I do know is, these are some great quandaries to have.  I truly thank my stars every day that I am lucky enough to have the time to indulge myself so wantonly by releasing all these little chattering people in my head onto the page.  I guess I just can’t wait to see which ones get to the end of their story first…

Happy Countdown to Christmas everyone..


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