I’m in that ‘can’t quite get the story out’ phase again. I had it a while back and ended up writing a little piece about the half formed stories in my head which helped me break out of the chains but even that isn’t forthcoming at the moment.
The butt of the problem is that I’m over thinking it (yes, yes, I can hear those of you who know me well guffawing). I’ve done a lot of reading about writing and being a writer lately along with diving in to a couple of collections of short pieces by writers I admire and as a result, and with the help of Norman obviously, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t measure up.
I don’t have a clue where to start when it comes to fiction, how does anyone “develop a character” or “weave a subplot into the main plot” or “build an atmospheric scene” or any of the myriad other things that go into a can’t put it down novel?
When it comes to writing about the stuff that happens to me, I have more of a chance. I can do this and I enjoy doing it. But I’ve become intimidated, weighed down, unsettled by writing in the same genre as those I consider superior in style and voice.
And the result of this has been a series (approximately 18 to date) of opening paragraphs reaching around 5 lines before I read it back, tut in disgust and then hit ‘ctrl A’ followed by ‘ctrl x’ to totally erase that which I consider dire. On a good day I then reluctantly begin again, more likely I turn to my binge activities (TV and food) to help me to avoid the pain.
I’ve even done it this morning with this piece. I’ve come down to my favourite Sunday morning breakfast spot – all shabby chic interiors, chill out tunes, super good coffee and bacon hash to die for – and deleted 5 introductions to this little soliloquy.
But this time, finally, I’ve broken through and am determined to get this one written, to battle the demons, to put Norman back in his cage and get back on track.
The coffee’s kicked in, the cat’s joined me (OMG I’m becoming a cat person) and my confidence is returning.
And being really truthful (in other words cutting myself some slack) I have actually done some writing.
First off, I’ve managed to get a couple of paid gigs writing training/marketing materials for a small business coach which was enjoyable and is definitely something I’d like to do more of, so anyone reading this who needs written stuff for their business (or knows someone who does) please give me a shout.
Also, I’ve been writing a couple of pieces with the working title of ‘You couldn’t make it up’, trying to get down on paper those bonkers things that I’ve encountered in life that would never make the grade in fiction writing as they’re totally ridiculous. It’s tough going but enjoyable at the same time and I’m hoping it may be the start of that book I plan to write.
So that’s where I’m at, stuck but unstuck, confident but lacking in confidence, same sh*t different day as they say.
Happy Sunday to one and all.