WHEN WRITING IS HARD
The past twelve months have confirmed one thing in particular for me: I really do love to write. Quite simply, I am at my happiest when I have an idea brewing or a story in progress. When I don’t, well, truth be told, I get a little grumpy.
But sometimes writing is hard. Even when you love it. (Like most things in life, I guess.)
Yesterday was one of those days. And for no good reason. I had the house to myself, my structural notes for my middle grade novel (due out next year) in front of me, and possible solutions to nearly all of the points raised. (It wasn’t even a particularly daunting report – only a few main points.) But still I found it hard. Scaling-Mount-Everest-without-oxygen hard.
I couldn’t really work out why I was having so much trouble. The only thing that I could think of was that perhaps I was a little scared. I was at the pointy end of the process. Whatever decisions I made now, whatever changes I made or decided not to make would likely end up in the final book.
The book. Not the manuscript. The book. Where no more changes can occur. Where there is no more tinkering or improving or strengthening. The book. The book that readers would read – and either like or … not.
Oh my, can you smell the fear in those words? I think at this point I realised how important this particular story is to me. I want to get it right. I want to do the idea justice. I want it to be the best it can be. And yesterday I hesitated and doubted and dug my heels into the ground and stopped.
Eventually, I cajoled myself into just doing the “easy bits”, thinking that would trick me into getting immersed in the story and get cracking with it.
But even that didn’t work.
So what did I do?
Well, you see, the afternoon sun was streaming into the kitchen, and I realised that my basil needed repotting, and then I made spinach and mushroom quiche, and sweet potato chips (like the ones I saw Matt make on MasterChef) and I put on Of Monsters and Men (the Icelandic band) and sang – loudly and gloriously off-key – as I cooked and then I took a walk and gave myself a stern talking to, and resolved to get stuck into it tomorrow without any (or much ) fear.
So now it’s tomorrow. And what am I doing? Blogging, of course!
But that’s it. No excuses. It’s time to write. Because even when it’s hard, I really do love it.