Friday, 30 June 2017

On Writing - June 2017


Previous Posts: January

Anyone that has ever attempted to tackle a novel length writing project will tell you that most of the the time you spend on it is not actually spent writing.

That's where I've been for the past five months.

It's not like I have given up on writing this story, because I definitely have not, but I spend more of my time brainstorming and deciding on where to go next that actually putting it down into words.


I've learned long ago that I cannot make myself write every day. If I do, most if not all of what comes out (if something comes out at all) ends up deleted. So, for me to actually sit down and write, I have to have a clear-ish image of what comes next, or at least a starting point, and then I can work with that.

Like I said in my last writing post, I have been plagued with insecurity and doubt the furthest I get into the story, and the closest I get to the end. There is a gap that needs filled between where I am now and what I have outlined for the final arc of the novel, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to fill it. The more I try to think of it the worse it gets, and after several anxiety filled weeks I decided to let it rest for a while, and that's when the next step came to me, at a very unexpected time, as I was sat in a dark cinema watching a movie that had no connection or comparison whatsoever with what my story is about or the scene that came to me.

My brain is a very, very weird place.

So, I sat down to write that scene, and in a couple of hours I had thousands of words written down that I really liked, and an entire chapter finished.

And now I'm back where I started, wondering where to go next.

This is definitely becoming a slower process than I thought it would be back in January when I planned how this writing year would be, but creativity can't be forced, as much as we would like it to come out on demand. I just have to wait for the next chapter to come to me, and the next, and the next, until I can write 'The End'. Regardless of how long that may take.


At this point I'm at just over 78k words, which means I have written 2942 words since my last update, and reached the end of chapter nineteen. I was hoping to be able to finish this first draft before I went back to university, so, fingers crossed, yes?

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Inspirational quote of the month:

'If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep,
make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise;
whatever you do, don't just stick there scowling at the problem.
But don't make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do,
other people's words will pour in where your lost words should be.
Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.'

- Hilary Mantel

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