Nobody said it would be easy…

My structured routine seems to be working ok for me so far. I exercise and write content for the blog in the mornings before work and I turn my attention to Wendy’s House for an hour each evening. Or at least I try to… progress with Wendy’s House is painful and slow. I recall a similar feeling when writing Latest Mistake. The project itself seems so huge that I almost can’t face it. I am alarmingly self-conscious, as if I hadn’t written anything in my life. It’s very frustrating. I often forget in this surprisingly vulnerable time that I have written a novel before. My friends reminded me of this fact over the weekend, which helped me to put things into perspective. Fortunately a lot of my friends have been supportive in this way and have been offering advice.

Firstly, my dear friend Amanda has told me to take things at my own pace. I suppose most creative arts such as writing don’t really run by a watch. I imagine only the most disciplined and immersed authors are able to write like clockwork. And that’s not me yet. Try as I might some nights last week I just stared at the white of the Word document, with no inspiration, no words or ideas coming. It was very depressing. But I’m not a teenager anymore, or even a university student, I can’t write into the wee hours anymore, or at any time of my choosing. The restrictions of adult life are real, hence the imposed routine. It’s like I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

The solution? Stick at it. It’s the only choice I have, I can’t give up. And I know from experience that it will get easier. I barely know my characters, where they live or what’s going to happen to them. Hell, I’ve practically been choosing names, professions and back stories out of a hat just to move forward. I’m getting far too caught up on the little details (more on that in a minute). For Latest Mistake, I could confidently write a scene because I know Blane and Amelia so well. Even now, I could probably pick that novel up and write something new for it almost without trying. Perhaps that’s why I find myself longing for it so much. It was familiar. Wendy’s House is so new, which is exciting but it’s also really challenging, more challenging than I thought it would be.

Secondly, my dear friends Alexandra and Mish reminded me to have confidence and plough on, and to edit later. This is very wise for a number of reasons. Firstly, because I can always come back to these trickier chapters later. And make no mistake, the opening chapters are always tricky-you have to get over awkward meetings, physical descriptions, location set ups etc. Secondly, because some of the tiny details I’m toiling over aren’t important at this stage. I can decide on the company where Will is doing his internship later. I can flesh out these small things once I have a story established. I think I am trying to ensure I don’t make the errors I made writing Latest Mistake, one being, perhaps at times, not focussing enough on the small details. I have even received some constructive criticism to suggest Latest Mistake didn’t have enough depth. So I suppose I have reasons to feel self-conscious.

Trying to figure out a solution to this, I am even tempted to scrap what I’ve written of the first two chapters and start again, see if I can’t rewrite them in a way that makes me more comfortable, more confident.

So my plan is twofold (I plan a lot don’t I? Perhaps that’s also my problem!). I am going to stick to my routine, but perhaps rather than focus solely on the words, I may allow myself to include in my hour each night to get to know Will and Wendy, time to figure this story out in a little more depth, time to gain a little confidence and let go of Latest Mistake. I can’t measure myself up to what has come before or else I’ll drive myself crazy. I’m sure I’ll get back to the complete freedom I used to feel when writing. Just got to work hard for it.

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2 thoughts on “Nobody said it would be easy…

  1. Keep up the good work Rach. We should never give up on our dreams no matter what hurdles come our way. They’re just there to make us try harder. You can so do it girl 🙂 x

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