With my current book, for example, a reflection on growing up in Tokyo in the seventies, I was able to complete the first draft relatively steadily and smoothly, writing a an hour or two a day. I finished the first draft in five months. The writing flowed. I let it.
I wasn’t trying to impress anybody, do anything too challenging. I would just write whatever came naturally - thoughts, feelings, memories. It felt good not to pressure myself and I think that the easy, honest approach is reflected in the finished manuscript.
Once the first draft was done, the processes began. In order to print it out at the library at college, I had to save each chapter on my iPad to a PDF and then email it to my school account. Once I had sent off all eighty emails, I went into the library. There, they had to be opened, downloaded, printed, numbered and collated. A process.
Red pen next. Corrections on paper. Then re-inputting, with the amendments and improvements into the computer. Which then needed to be individually copied and pasted from eighty seperate chapters into four documents of twenty - to make it easier to eventually input it into inDesign - the software that will format it for professional printing in book form.
And on it goes. You get the idea.
In some ways the actual ‘creation’ part is easy!
Once the cover is conceived and designed and the book has been proof printed and corrected a few times, I will do a small digital run of a couple of hundred.
Then I will begin the process of attempting to find a publisher in Japan. A huge process itself, I am sure.
Does it sound like I am whinging? I’m not. I am lucky to be doing something I believe in. To be able to make efforts to manifest projects of my own devising. Things sparked from passion and inspiration, things that are personally relevant and meaningful.
I suppose I am more commenting on the awareness of how much time and focus is necessary to realise various projects - books, exhibitions, music releases.
It’s (almost) work!
The fun and games part - the experimentation, the invention, the playful creation is only the beginning of an extended journey towards completion.
It’s the same thing with my music. Getting a track down in it’s raw form - weaving all the sound strands in and out harmonically, throwing in splashes of accents, controlling and releasing the beat - can be euphoria inducing. But once it is all put together, each sound in it’s place the job is only sixty percent done. Editing, refinement, equalising, mixing and mastering. Processes that must be attended to with equal focus and diligence.
All this I-doting and T-crossing has it’s own feeling of accomplishment and reward, too. It requires more discipline, sure, but their is a payoff in satisfaction. Not only have you done justice to your initial creative impulses and creation, but you have pushed through the demands and met the requirements of the task before you.