Sunday, 9 June 2013

One word in front of another.

This last few weeks I have mostly been distracted from writing by reading...


Reading great writing and reading great writers ON writing. This is all perfectly reasonable, of course. An aspiring writer can do a lot worse than reading! And I've also been making notes, playing around with plots and characters, planning, drafting fragments of ideas 'to be continued ... ' Sometimes I've even been doing some continuing, joining some of the fragments together.


I am nothing if not thorough in my creative exploration!


The sticking point, the thing I am not doing, is writing stories - something of a significant limiting factor in my fiction writing ambitions.


On dark days I wonder if I'm not just messing *here*. I understand the the theory. I know that there is no one process, that every writer has to find their own and I've gathered LOTS of information on how to go about doing it but if, when push comes to pen on paper I can't string words together in something more than random notes, maybe I'm not cut out for this. Maybe I should just crack on with something more useful - there's lots of gardening to hide in at the moment! Then I remember I'm signed up to study an MA in creative writing starting in September and how, following the lengthy conversation that constituted my interview the sharp professor declared I needed to work on finishing things! He advised me to work on some of my short story ideas and FINISH them.


This man worries me; he KNOWS!!!


In the months since the interview I've done anything but that! However I now declare I am ready to start. I have to be, I have approximately 12 weeks before I turn up on his course.


The deal then? The deal I've made with myself (and shared with MrT whose patience and support for my artistic meddling knows no bounds) is to sit and write one word in front of another for 40 minutes each day - and these words MUST be something like a narrative; moving through a story from beginning to end in some semblance of order that a reader might at least be able to make sense of, if not fully enjoy!


I will report back on my progress and hope you're not just reading this to avoid writing your own story!


  1. Good for you lovey!
    For me, I can't put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) unless I've sketched out the bones of my story or scene first. Perhaps you could spend some time planning before you start writing? Then at least when you start typing you'll know where you're going?

  2. Cathy, I think my problem is the opposite - spending far too much time planning/sketching/researching!
    We can discuss tactics when we meet up in the summer.
    Today I've already done day 2 of 40mins narrative focused writing and, guess what, it's working!!!

  3. Good for you - do you have rewards organised for when your 40mins are up - like cake, or tea, or wine?

  4. All of the above ;))
    Thanks Jo.

  5. Hahaha! I'm not as smug now as I was earlier in the week either!

    It's hard this writing 'business' ;)

  6. Keep going. You are in good company!!

  7. Thank you Carol, you're encouragement means a lot xx