Journal#22 – On setting off on a new adventure

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s been a funny old year of beginnings and endings. Personal and professional. Inward and outward.

While my feet have barely moved, my mind has been everywhere. Travelled lots of different lands. Walked many fells. Crossed a few fjords. It hasn’t been the easiest year.

But it isn’t over yet. This isn’t one of those retrospective “Holy whizz bang what a year!” posts (I’ll reserve that for December). There’s still time left for one last adventure.

And so, I’ve started another novel.

This isn’t the first new project I’ve worked on this year. I’ve had a few little adventures – but in typical cryptic authorial style, I can’t talk about them yet. But I will, hopefully one day soon.

But this novel.

There’s something about novels. For me, it’s not just a new story, it’s a new experimental approach to form, to language. A chance to create something brand new. And this book is certainly no exception.

But I’m also trialling writing it in a new way. Usually I pour out my innards onto the page, and the first draft becomes a maelstrom of ideas and concepts, strung together on a raggedy rope. It’s afterwards, when I’m bracing myself for draft 2 that I revise, rescript, and finally work out what the hell I’m writing about.

But this time, I know already. This story burns bright.

So I’m taking care with this first draft, going back and forward as I write, just enough to not disrupt the flow but so that I can review the pace, edit language, seed acorns. I have no idea whether this approach will work, but I’ve done so very many new things this year that I’m not afraid to fail. Failure is just a way to begin again. Another clean slate.

This story will be written. It will be read.

I’m aiming to have it done before Mothtown is published next year. It’s a deep one this, this story. It’s not the easiest to write, for many reasons. But it’s the right time. It needs to be done. I actually feel like it’s important. Such a strange sensation.

Anyway, wish me luck.

I’m off on an adventure.

Caroline Hardaker's desk as she begins to write a new novel

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