Tag Archives: Novel

The Writing Swing-of-it

There’s nothing like a fellow writer to inspire you/kick you up the proverbial and get you back into writing again. I have to thank J – my resident Writing Conscience – for providing that inspiration.

My novel – ignored, unloved and abandoned for the past few months – has had the dust blown off, and laid out for inspection and renewal.

Isn’t that exciting!

Indeed, the hastily written tumble of 35,000 words that began the whole saga has got up, stretched its legs, and looked at me very expectantly. “Forget the research; you’re not doing it anyway,” it tells me. “Just get on and WRITE!”

So I have to be honest. My ‘research’ – if it could be called such – has stuttered and stalled as well. Oh, believe me, I definitely need that notepad of scrawls to tell me who my characters are, where they from and why they do what they do. This vast land I have created for myself, with great enthusiasm, is far too big for my meagre writer’s mind. It needs to be pinned down, moulded into something I can really use.

But, in the meantime, why am I not writing? Can I really use my job as an excuse anymore? I’ve been there nearly a year for goodness’ sake! Yes, I’m still busy, but no, it’s not eating up my evenings.

Okay, so yes, I’m now running in the evenings, but not every night. What about lunchtimes? Weekends? What about a snatched hour of word-wrangling before dinner?

This is what J has reminded me of. This is what I lost when I left my writer’s bubble in Bath (lawdy I miss you guys!)

Just get back to the basics and get writing again. Stop throwing open your laptop on the dinner table, working around people and getting distracted by TV, and then an hour down the line finding you haven’t written anything at all, you’ve just spent it on Twitter. Find a quiet corner, create your own little den, and just write. Get into the swing of it again.

I make all these grand promises on this blog about getting back to it, about reasserting my writing habits and being completely serious about writing again. But a couple of weeks or months further along, I find I haven’t really moved on from the promises stage.

I can’t really promise that I will even finish my novel. You can’t promise anything with writing, let’s be fair.

So instead I’m just going to get back into the swing of it. And see how I go. Plus, I now have J to remind me to get on with it…

There is a slight issue however. Those 35,000 words need some attention after so long hidden away. I need a writing group, stat! With a severe lack of fellow writers (save J and SP) available for such duties, I may just have to blunder through it on my own – and occasionally turn to my wonderful blog followers to help. I hope that’s okay…

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My whole life is filled with hauntings lately.

I’m pretty sure I’m being haunted by a ghost. And not in a friendly, Casper-like way. In a malignant something’s-watching-me-from-the-corner-of-the-room way. It’s most likely my highly-strung imagination combined with watching horror films and reading a ghost story. (Though how you explain footsteps up and down the stairs when you’re tucked up in bed and there’s no one else in the house beats me). I took Sophie-cat to sleep on the end of my bed last night it’s getting so bad. I’m pretty sure Mummaloo and Poppaloo think I’m going nuts (it’s a 1960s built house and I’m pretty sure there were no deaths here before we moved in). I guess it doesn’t help that I still have an irrational fear of the dark (I don’t care what you say, 24 years old does not mean you get over your fear of not being able to see what’s under or at the end of your bed/in the wardrobe/at the other end of the hallway).

I am also being haunted by a Blue Tit. No euphemisms please. Every morning I am greeted by a tapping on the frosted window of the back door. I’m kind of enjoying the greeting with my morning cuppa. I’m just terrified of opening the back door and finding he flies in and becomes Sophie-cat’s new plaything.

And, finally, I am being haunted by the novel-that-never-was. Or, should I say, the novel-that-should-be-but-is-still-gathering-dust. All my fancy promises of a new start and writing every day seemed to fall to the wayside almost as quickly as I announced them. Life is still taking over. Instead, my forlorn little notebook is just looking (forlornly) at me with (forlorn) accusatory eyes. It follows me around the room, begging to be picked up, but not daring to say anything in case I hurt its feelings by giving a half-baked excuse of being too busy. I even dreamt about the damn thing last night! But that might have been the overdose of Sudafed I took in an attempt to breathe whilst sleeping affecting my brain patterns, or whatever.

What’s haunting you at the moment?

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Filed under Blogging, Sophie things, Tea, Writing

Getting Back to Basics

I’ve been a bit lax in my writing these days. Every now and then life seems to take over from writing and disrupt absolutely everything. It’s a churn of 6.30am starts and 11pm finishes, rushed lunches of the same-old-same-old, staring at the computer screen and the clock and the computer screen again. Days blur into weeks, with brief blasts of weekends filled with busy-doing-nothing and family time, and then before I know it, another month has gone and I haven’t written a single word (save for my blogs and marketing emails for work). My beautiful Oxford notebook sits forlornly under a film of dust, the ideas fading on the pages and the characters twiddling their thumbs hoping one day I will decide what to do with them. Life has pushed aside my grand ideas of a bestselling novel, for mundane bits-and-bobs and the general viscera of normality.

My poor little novel. How sad it looks on the pull-out shelf of my desk (because the main bit of the desk is covered in beauty products and make-up and half-watched DVDs). I feel guilty every time I look at it. So why don’t I just get on with it, you cry. Stop the self-pitying rumblings of the aspiring (lazy) writer and DO IT. Which is, essentially, exactly what I should be doing. I’ve just secured a permanent job (in publishing, no less – yay me) so I don’t have to worry so much about the hand-to-mouth-will-I-get-paid-next-week temping stuff, I’m living at home so I get my dinner cooked for me (spoiled, I know). I’m currently broke, so socialising shouldn’t be an issue. There is one small problem.

For starters, I’m lazy. Not just “I’ll do it later” lazy. Just really, truly lazy. As in, I’d be happiest in bed all day doing nothing. The only reason I manage to blog so often is because it’s habit and I can’t let people down. Everything else gets pushed aside by the Great Laziness. So, okay, I can motivate myself to write every now and then – it’s been proven in the past. I can do it now, right? The next step is actually fitting it in to my life. I’m not amazingly busy. But my evening seems to get eaten up by everything else. Not only that, but it’s fantastically easy to distract me. I could get distracted by a butterfly. Honestly. The tiniest thing. So now I need time to do it, to put aside the Great Laziness, AND find somewhere to do it that will be minus butterflies, Twitter, offers of tea, something on the TV or anything else that might possibly move me from the concentration that’s needed for writing.So. Here’s the plan; I am going right back to basics. After school, you always put aside time to do your homework (or at least were meant to). So, why not do the same? Every day, after work, I will have an hour to myself to do some writing. I will tame this beast that is (was… could be) my novel. I will grab it with both hands and forge it into something more than a collected piece of dust, paper and forgotten characters. Nothing will stop me and I will conquer the world! To me, the basics really are the basics. There’s nothing fancy about writing – there’s no magic (though it might feel that way when it’s written). So why try to create a situation that’s not going to happen? Why sit there and say “I’ll write when I get a bolt of inspiration”? Just write. Just take that writing and show it who’s boss.

Bring it on, you novel… thing… whatever… you!

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