I managed a hefty chunk of rewriting yesterday on the piece I have chosen to be recast for the submission in a couple of weeks, and it already sounds much leaner than it was. There is a far greater sense of direction, verve and energy and far fewer moments where the music simply runs out of puff.

As I mentioned yesterday, the version of the piece that I pulled from my In Progress folder had all the hallmarks of something that had been stretched out in order to fill a fast approaching deadline – swathes of lazily repeated material, arching languid phrases in the middle of active sections, basically all the signs that I recognise in myself when I am short of time and ideas. At least I am honest enough about my own writing not to give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Although I do not ask the question out loud or even in my head, I always approach my writing with the same critical rigour I would apply to any student’s work, for if I cannot be honest with myself then how can my advice be trusted by somebody else? This self-analysis sometimes be as obstructive as it is constructive, which is why I have developed the technique of writing fluently at the start of the process and only later bringing in the editorial point of view, so as not to stifle ideas when they are most needed.

For this piece I have gone in immediately with the red pen, and used a fair amount of ink, if truth be told. There are bits and pieces all over the computer screen at the moment, ends, beginnings and links still in need of refinement, but the results are already much better than the initial offering was even forty eight hours ago.

I feel this week as if I have gained a little focus, and while it may simply be that seasonal thing of the weather brightening up and the days getting longer, I also think that being taken on by the gaming website has helped to fill the void that has been there since my previous ’employers’ (if that is not too strong a term) pulled up the drawbridge on their writing team. I really do see myself more and more as a writer – music, blogs, programme notes, game articles and reviews – and delight in the time I spend doing it, even if much of it at present needs to be its own reward. This new site has followers in close to five figures, though, and is well regarded in its industry, so even though I always remember that exposure itself cannot pay the mortgage, it will fit nicely for now.