The inevitability of being a writer…

Put bum in chair. Start writing. Be a writer.

It seems so easy: yet I’m still having trouble. I’m not prioritising my need to write, and as a result I only ever get around to considering the possibility when I’m tired, grumpy and, therefore, critical; meaning that I interpret the task of writing as ‘another thing to get done’ rather than my escape from all those chores I supposedly should do. In addition, anything I do end up writing appears stiff and unsatisfying. I am not doing myself, or my writing,  any favours by adding it to my long list of ‘shoulds’ and leaving it until last.

I’m also struggling to think of anything to write. My head has been so stuck in the world of my novel that it’s hard to step out of that and just allow myself the luxury of exploring other possibilities with different characters. Since my last post, all I have managed to successful write is a short 800 or so word scene that describes the end of a relationship; and I’m not entirely sure that still hasn’t got roots in one of my novel characters; although at least it is words on the page.

With a novel I felt I was contributing to something larger; that each written scene was one step closer to having a  complete story, something significant and whole. Returning to the task of writing random scenes that have no connection to one another is now somewhat disappointing – but I don’t appear to have the current stamina it takes to create something inbetween. I still want to write the novel – but the novel is not yet ready to be written. So what do I do in the meantime?

Of course, there is a sense of inevitability that comes with the fact that I’ve already answered that question:

Put bum in chair. Start writing. Be a writer.


2 responses to “The inevitability of being a writer…

  1. We all relate, Cat. Be sure to be kind to yourself, though. I think you beat yourself up to much. Remember you do this stuff because you love it. So, do what you love!

  2. I recognise the feeling. I don’t have children and I’m retired, so in theory I have lots of time to write, but my husband, also retired needs feeding etc and there is an energetic dog to walk. We have a large garden that produces lots of fruit so I’ve acquired a skill in making jams and chutneys, although that’s fairly low key at the moment and then there is the tyranny of the vegetable box, making soups and so on. Some years ago I arranged a book group supper and invited the crime novelist Frances Fyfield to speak; she told an anecdote about asking a fellow writer what she was working on and got the reply ‘I’m polishing my spoons.’ So even published authors have their problems with distractions of all kinds. Take heart.

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