East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Straight through the keyboard

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writingSometimes weird stuff happens.
For instance… I’m contracted with my Italian gaming publisher, to provide a cycle of six novelettes set in the gaming setting I am developing.
I mentioned Hope & Glory before, here on the blog.

Due to my father’s death and the subsequent problems, I’m a behind schedule – something I hate, but really couldn’t be helped.
Now, four stories are ready, one is halfway through, and the sixth is fully outlined. By the end of the month, I will close the job. Earlier than that, possibly.
Nice and smooth.

So why, why, oh why did I spend yesterday afternoon and most of this morning writing at a breakneck pace a seventh story that is actually quite good, and fun to write, and fits perfectly with the whole set up?

Now, the main reason for something like this is, I was tired.
And I was sick of the worrying and the headaches (real headaches) and the dark mood – all stuff that happens when your mind is full of plots and outlines and schedules and bills.
It’s because the pleasure of writing, the fun of writing, is going, buried in the technicalities and practicalities of doing a job, on request, to satisfy an editor and to put bread on the table.
It’s stressful.
So, for me, the way to go, is to take a weekend off and just have fun with writing1.


One should not, in these circumstances, keep working on an ongoing project. We should de-focus from that thing, and just go back to when writing was a game.
Release the stress and quiet the monkey mind.
And yet I did it. The story is part of the Hope & Glory universe, it is called Sketches of China, currently clocks at about 6000 words, and was unplanned and done without any outlining, doing research on the fly.
What now?
Ah, I guess I might as well finish it.
If I can’t sell it, I might give it away as a gift.

  1. To quote a friend, I am “into meditation and zen and all that mumbo jumbo.”
    Guilty as charged.
    I am particularly interested in writing as meditation and the zen of creativity – the works of Nathalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, John Daido Loori… I’m currently re-reading Ralph L. Wahlstrom The Tao of Writing.
    You get the picture. 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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