Monday, 13 July 2015

The habit of writing

I recently completed the manuscript for a book I've been commissioned to write. It's described as a "birding memoir", and looks at some of Britain's greatest avian spectacles.

Now I've worked as a journalist for the last 23 years, so I'm no stranger to writing great chunks of prose, but this was something else again. It amounts to 70,000 words, written and rewritten and edited and, hopefully, honed to something readable.

I'd have to say that Google Drive was a huge help, allowing me to write passages on my work computer, before and after hours, or during lunch, or on my iPad in spare moments elsewhere, without having to remember to take a memory sticks or discs everywhere. If I had, I suspect I'd still be a long way from finished.

For the year or so I've been doing the actual writing (rather than the research), I haven't written a great deal of poetry at all, but getting into the habit of writing every day, and setting targets, has been a huge help, I think, and now I find myself returning to poetry with renewed vigour. I also feel like I can tackle another prose project I've often thought of having a go at. It's going to be a busy winter.


Poetry Pleases! said...

Dear Matt

Good luck with your new book. As Clint Eastwood said, 'A man's gotta know his limitations!' and one of mine is prose.

Best wishes from Simon R. Gladdish

The Editors said...

Hi Matt,

That's very exciting news. Do you have a publication date yet? When should we expect this magnum opus?


Simon T.

Matt Merritt said...

Thanks very much, Simon. Hopefully it'll be out next April.

Simon Barraclough said...

Well done Matt. I look forward to it. I enjoy writing prose more and more. Best, Simon