I’ve started writing another book. It’s the same book I started writing about 25 years ago. Must be that long, because I was writing it on an Amstrad word processor and anything I wrote then is no longer accessible. It’s still there, on some strange Amstrad discs, in a cardboard box in my barn, but I no longer have means of reading them. Even if I’ve lost the precise words, I can remember well enough what I wrote, though. 25 years ago, I got so far and I stopped.
About 20 years ago, having upgraded to a second-hand laptop with Windows 3.1, I started it again. Again, I still have the floppy discs. No way to read them, either, but it doesn’t matter because once more, I stopped. And restarted with Windows 98. And Windows XP and Windows 7. Finally, (?) I’m starting again with Windows 8.1.
The computer system actually has nothing to do with why I keep restarting the same book. I keep restarting because I keep stopping. I don’t know why. I’ve had the whole book in my head for quarter of a century. I’m sure it will work and I’m itching to see it finished, polished and ready to go. But for some reason I always get as far as chapter 4 or 5, and then remember there’s something else I really fancied writing, and back it goes onto another floppy disc/CD/memory stick.
Will I make the break-through this time? I hope so, because one thing the different means of storing my book keep reminding me is that we live in an age of galloping technological change. Virtually everything my characters did, 25 years ago, would be done differently now. It’s bad enough juggling characters and plot complications without having to chuck out whole chapters because someone went and invented the internet, mobile phones because ubiquitous and Google became a verb.
Anyway, place your bets now on whether I make it to chapter 6 this time. Watch this space.