Friday, 18 November 2011

A Twist in the Tale

My main problem when writing is to find an original twist for the tale.  Not for every tale - they don't all need one as we all know - but sometimes that little zesty twist is really needed to give the story some zing.

I don't know whether I have a lazy brain or am just plain unimaginative, but I have to say I find it really hard to dredge up something unexpected from the sludgy depths of the stagnant canal that my mind often turns into when faced with this...

I'd be really grateful for any tips, please!

Friday, 11 November 2011

A Decision Reached

Writing my blog entry for the Insecure Writer's Support Group last Wednesday got me thinking.

My insecure moan was about sometimes wishing I'd never started writing because it's stressful fitting it into a busy life, but is impossible to stop once you've started.

Having spent a week feeling horribly stressed about not having enough time to do any writing, I have decided to stop beating myself up.

My ambition, just over a year ago, was to get a short story published in a women's magazine.
Once my first story was accepted, I decided I'd aim to have three published.  Once the third was accepted, I decided six was a good number...

Writing short stories is great!  Although at least two thirds of what I submit is sent back to me with a polite rejection message, I'm having some success and have now had seven accepted, all in the space of a year.  I AM SO THRILLED WITH THIS! 


People keep telling me I should write a novel and then follow that up by asking me how I'm getting on with it.  I've tried several times to get started on one, but I find the thought of taking on a long project that I can only write in drips and drabs without a guarantee that I'll even have time to write every day (I have a day job and a family, after all!) really stressful.  Some people can do it but I can't; it's just the way I am!

I felt horribly jealous when NaNoWriMo started - I felt so resentful that I had to go to work when what I really wanted to do was sit home with the phone unplugged and WRITE WRITE WRITE!


I've arrived at the decision to forget the novel for now.  I have ideas - many - and they are all safely stored in notepads and on my memory stick.  They will keep and will, I hope, mature like a fine wine or a  rich fruit cake.

I am not putting myself under pressure any more.  I absolutely love writing and have no intention of stopping, but I am going to keep writing stories.  This fits in with my life as it is now.  In the future I have no doubt this will change.  When the time is right, I will do it - but because I WANT TO and MUST, not because I'm feeling I should.

Sorry to waffle on... I'm just so relieved to have tidied up my head and made a decision!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's that day again!
Wow - how does the first Wednesday in every month come around so quickly?!

Do you ever wish, even just for a moment, that you'd never started this writing lark?

I sometimes look back to days when my evenings and weekends were just filled with... well, ordinary things like reading, cooking, watching tv, the odd bit of housework... and feel a little pang of nostalgia.

I always wanted to be a writer.  I wrote voraciously through my teens, confident that one day it would be my 'proper' job.  However, life doesn't go according to plan, as we all know, and I was 39 before I found myself with (almost!) enough time on my hands to consider giving it a go.  I'd never stopped writing - in my head.  I'd scribble notes on the back of receipts - anything - when out or on holiday and an idea or a line of dialogue struck me; I just never had time to use them.

Now, I am so, so grateful to have had my short stories accepted and published, but the pressure I'm feeling is sometimes so huge I feel the need to hide.  I'm the one applying this pressure, of course, but the stress of finding enough time to write around my day job, of waiting for acceptance or rejection, of wanting to write and having to sit and make small talk with the MiL instead, sometimes makes me feel like tearing my hair out.

I know that I won't give up.  I tried to a couple of years ago and came slinking back to the laptop eventually.   If you're a writer, it's just there, inside you.  Convincing others that you're a writer with something to say that's worth reading is the hard part, and sometimes, with the novel that I want to write but am yet afraid to start looming over me, I wonder if I can really do it.

I've come to the conclusion that it's fine to feel insecure and beaten at times - it's probably much healthier than rolling along on a calm, confident sea and becoming complacent.  There's much further to fall from there!

:)  Linda