Friday, 3 December 2010

No Traffic

There's not a lot of traffic outside, and absolutely none on this site.  If i keep on writing then it's purely for self-gratification.  But then again, isn't all writing?  In essence I'm talking to myself.  Should i be worried?  Best not to dwell on that.  Instead i shall press on, confident that somebody will eventually read this. 

A little background perhaps; to me and the project.  My success in writing thus far equates to two short stories.  The first, Suns and Mothers, was published by Big Finish in 2008 in the anthology 'Short Trips: How the Doctor Changed My Life.'  The Second, You Were A Rose, was published in Writing Magazine, also in 2008.  Both pieces were competition entries.  There was a third piece - oh that fated third piece - but the publication in which it was going to appear never materialised.  Now it's like a hot potato.  I send it out and it comes straight back.  Just because a piece is accepted with great enthusiasm by one editor does not mean it will be readily accepted by others.

I work full time, which means i have to fit my writing in as and where i can.  Evenings and week-ends.  It's hard to find the motivation some days.  After the stress of a full time job i don't always feel like sitting down at the computer and having to think.  So i look for distractions.  I check my e-mail, surf the net, read a magazine article, anything but write.  And then i feel guilty.  And after that the self doubt creeps in.

The other bad habit i have is re-reading what i wrote the previous evening.  It's the ultimate stall tactic because i can justify it by saying that at least i'm working on the manuscript.  I correct grammar, improve dialogue, beef up a description.  Deep down though i know i should be writing.

And that's what it's all about.  It seems a bit obvious, but all you have to do is write.  I aim for 500-1000 words an evening.  Some days are beter than others.  Somedays i will get swept up in a situation and bash out more than my target word count without really putting much thought into it.  And then somedays i will sit and type in spurts, struggling to find the next thread, caught in transition between events.  Those are the days when you think, actually this is rubbish.  Who am I fooling?  I've had those days, loads of them, but they are tempered by those extra special days when a plot line falls into place, or a character sparkles on the page, or the dialogue makes you laugh out loud and you think, you know what?  I'm pretty good at this!

It's hard, it's draining, it's an emotional rollercoaster (cliche count: 2), but it's what i want to do.  It's what you want to do.  So do it.  Decide a daily word count and write.  It doesn't matter how good or bad it is at this stage, because you can re-write it.  It's not chiseled in stone for all to see, it's hidden away in your notebook or on your computer and only you decide when it's ready to be seen by others.

Yesterday was a good day.  I exceeded my word count.  5,500 words to go!  

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