Monday, 23 November 2009

Write off

I can always write. Sometimes I write rubbish and sometimes I don't write a lot, but I always manage to make a bit of progress. Last week was one of the slow times. My excuse is the dreaded man-flu that glued up the brain and gave me a throat full of razor blades.

Still, I sat at the computer for a few hours every day and looked at the screen. If I'd been working on something fresh I'm sure I would have done more, but when you're trying to improve a story you've already written and have been wrestling with for a while its not quite so easy. Every time I looked at it I saw something different and every time my hand strayed towards the keyboard I felt like I was approaching an unexploded bomb. I changed bits, then changed them back again. Stared at the screen. Changed them back. Went for a cup of tea, pondered and then changed them back again. In the end I retreated into what I think of as an internet coma; wandering the world wide web in a haze of Google-induced self-hypnosis, teetering on the edge of the abyss that is Farmville or Mafia Wars.

Today, I'm back at work, full of enthusiasm, brain razor sharp, the words just fighting to trip off my fingers. So why am I sitting here writing my blog when I should be writing a book?

Answers on a postcard to ...

6 comments:

Absent said...

You go from "a throat full of razor blades" to "brain razor sharp."

Sounds like you're living on the edge. :)

Absent said...

That was me: Mary in Penang.

Don't all writers go though angstful periods? It seems that published authors have a harder time dealing with WIPs - the ghost of past success seems to be ever-present.

Lexi said...

I'm sure we have all been there, Doug (though as a female I don't, of course, get man flu; just nasty colds).

Doug said...

You're right about the angst. A lot of writing is about self-confidence but when you start something new you have to build from the bottom. In a way, the other books - even the one that isn't out yet - don't really matter, because they're history. All that matters is making the next one better.

Lots of angst before my appearance in Jedburgh the other night!

Anonymous said...

good post. i find my self working on anything and everything but my novel... i have one and i am on a dead line but i am reading your blog and posting rather then working on it........

tony.riches said...

Douglas, I know what you mean. There's always something else to do that'll keep you away from the story. My biggest weakness is checking my sales numbers on Amazon, a vice I promised myself never to fall into. I've stopped reading the reviews though, some people who'd never turn out a publishable book in a million years can be very cruel to the few of us that have that gift. Even a humble page turner deserves a wee bit more respect than some of these self appointed geniuses give us (I can say wee, I work in Glasgow quite a lot and I've got used to using the word over three years!).

And yes, there are LONG periods of 'will it be as good as - the last one/I want it to be/the publisher wants it to be - angst'. And the only answer is to get your nose down, your backside up and write! (Easier said when one has a day job, Douglas, you are a lucky man to be full time).

All the best, and keep writing!