Trying to get back into it

Posted: March 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Last week i caught up with some writers i hadn’t seen for ages. One had moved house and was settling into a new writing regime to fit in with her young family. She had, after a break, managed to get some dedicated writing time. She felt that, in the interim, she’d lost her ability to put sentences together. She’d forgotten how to write, and felt like a novice starting out painfully to learn the basics.

I said: that’s how it is after a break. The anxiety gets to you. Once you break the flow, everything becomes an effort.

And here I am, at that very same place. I decided to start March with a project I’d put down for several months. I told myself I could get into a regime of writing 1666 words a day as I had for Nanowrimo. In my head, it seemed so simple. In reality, yesterday I managed perhaps 100 words. My doubts about where it was going ate away my confidence. The idea was that I could get together 5,000 words and a synopsis for a Time to Write award.

Maybe that’s too much pressure. I can’t see anything. Where am I in this story? Where is it going? How will I know when I’ve got there?

I try to remind myself that this is what it is like. Sometimes you’re just lost. You can’t pull a shape out of the air, to order. Or at least, you can but just don’t believe it will resemble the final shape, what the story will look like when it’s finished. So much writing about writing is misleadingly elegant. It suggests, leads you believe that writing is an elevated, sleek, glamorous process, glidiong down the catwalk, twirling and dazzling. It’s not. It’s a mess. It’s a stutter of anxiety and a sprawl of ‘Oh fuck it, just get anything down. However awful. However fucking crap’.

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