Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Finger-Freezing Fear

Other writers will probably know what I mean by this... those frequent moments when the self-belief-sapping gremlins creep into the room and then into your head and whisper in your ear (from the inside, obviously) that you are rubbish and are just kidding yourself IN A BIG WAY.  Mean, nasty little things - they deserve to be stamped on but it is just so easy to listen to their poisonous little voices.

I am sure I am not the only one who has read a published novel and thought "Golly gosh, how on earth did that get published?  I can jolly well do much better than that"?  But then you read back what you've written (I know, I know, DON'T DO IT!) and the gremlins tell you that:

a) you haven't done any better than the novel you scorned
b) you're a big-head and suffering from delusion if you happen to be pleased with what you've written.

Your fingers freeze on the keys in fear and your brain launches into a fast spin.

DO NOT LET THE GREMLINS WIN!  Envisage blowing them out of your nose (well, they are in your head) into a big hanky, scrunching it hard and stamping on it.  Imagine their pathetic little screams and the writhing inside the hanky.  Put it in the dustbin and clamp on the lid.

And also remember that if you don't try you will never know!

That's better - I'm off to take my own advice now!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Oh Cripes!

I think being changeable and unpredictable is all to do with being an Aquarian, which is fine and dandy until it spills over into my work...
I was trolling along with my WIP, sometimes flying and sometimes slogging my way through treacle, but fairly happy until... BAM!
Yesterday morning I woke up with a completely different vision of it in my head, planted there ethereally by some all-seeing literary critic from another realm, with a whole new starting point and unfolding of the story required.  Not so much a Eureka! moment as FFS! moment, I'm afraid.
With a deep sigh, I have re-started it today.  I was SO looking forward to going on holiday this year with a first draft under my belt, but it ain't gonna happen now.  Neither will I be typing THE END on 19th July at the end of the MYWYN challenge. 
I seriously hope we will keep the FB page going as I am going to need some support, please, for quite a while longer!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Instant gratification vs. in it for the long-haul...

Before I started writing short stories, everything I produced was a potential first draft of a novel.  I would plough on with it for weeks or months and finally get bored with it.  Working on the assumption that if I, the writer, am bored then there isn't much chance of anyone enjoying reading it, I have ditched project after project.  MYWYN - http://80kwords80days.blogspot.com/ - has given me a reason to continue.  I can't emphasise enough how reassuring and simply companionable it is to rub (virtual) shoulders with other writers and aspiring writers and cheer each other on and up!  Through other writers I have come to realise that everyone struggles at times and that the first draft is a useful framework to model the next draft on, but not a perfect, carved in stone work of art.  It's ok to get bored with what I'm writing because when the draft is finished it can all be changed.  I have also learned not to edit as I go along (or 'Addit' - http://teresa-morgan.blogspot.com/ )  because I get so embroiled that I go round and round in circles and lose sight of what I was meant to be doing - e.g. finishing the darned story!

I have to say, though, that even though I am persevering better than ever before with writing my novel, I get the occasional ache to write a short story and feel the heady satisfaction that creating something complete in the space of a few hours brings. 

Maybe I don't have the patience to be a writer of novels - I think I'm a bit of a quick-fix junkie - but we'll see!