Writing fatigue and f-bombs

Warning: unasterisked swearing!

No energy for lengthy writer’s musings today.

I’m writing. Sometimes it’s Story A, sometimes D…probably a line or two from narrative Z…but fuck it…I’m writing. The writing’s at that ugly stage, where I dislike everything.

But fuck it…I’m writing.

Autumn’s almost here: hoping it brings a fresh wind of creativity and enthusiasm for wordage.

If not, fuck it…I’ll still be writing.

PS: Keep Writing by Tyece at Twenties Unscripted

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Reading for Pleasure? Not when you’re writing a book!

Writers must read!

It’s no secret that authors are likely to be avid readers, but when does reading for pleasure take a back seat to the purpose of reading for study?

Since I started writing, I’m reading more than usual. In fact, in the last few months, if I’m not reading or writing, I’m feeling guilty because I should be reading or writing.

All the experts have said it: writers must read!

The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.

Samuel Johnson

Basically, if you want to be a great writer, read more! Want to improve your narrative? Read more! Need to find your voice? Read More! Unlock the secrets of the universe? Read more !

The chant is incessant… read more books…read more books… more book… more books… more books… smore cooks… raw hooks… flappertteyrpskyllgenoisdungus… GAHHHHHH!!!!

*head explodes over a stack of paperbacks, brain matter sliding off leather kindle cover*

Reading is good for the old grey matter

Brain meltdown notwithstanding, it really is in everyone’s best interests to read more anyway. It’s good for you, like broccoli but tastier.

However, for we brave and fearless souls (read: stupid f*ckwits) trying to write professionally, reading becomes a critical exercise.

Reading for analysis

At the moment, the majority of my reading is done with an analytical eye, which is less enjoyable and harder than it seems.

I have besmirched the hallowed pages of paperbacks with ugly pencilled notes in the margins. I have sullied paragraphs of gentle prose with the luminous swipe of my highlighter pen! No book is safe, and my inner librarian is cursing me to the deepest pit of the seven hells!

And, it’s not just hardcopy: my smartphone is bursting with my unrelenting obsession to collect and catalogue information that might, or might not, make it into a book one day.

On a positive note, Amazon, Foyles and my local second-hand bookshop are doing very well out of this whole affair.

This week’s reading list:

  • The White Queen by Phillippa Gregory’s
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  • Forrest Gump by Winston Groom

The problem occurs when I find myself wrestling with enjoyment versus analysis. I’m not saying one is mutually exclusive of the other, but I find it difficult to lose myself in a novel when I need to look at it objectively.

Also, guilt rears its ugly head! How can I justify ‘wasting’ time on a book that’s not my own?

I think I have the answer…

Need time? Something’s gotta give

To make more time for reading, something, somewhere, has to be sacrificed. And, I don’t mean your neighbour’s annoying cockapoo cross!

Personally, I found more hours in the day by sacrificing other activities like binge-watching Netflix and sleeping.

I watch a lot of TV shows! In a short amount of time, I clocked up episodes of Supernatural, Castle The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Weeks of missed episodes were consumed in a matter of days.

Taking a break is important too

Doing too much can be just as detrimental as doing too little. Creative burnout is very real and writing is a marathon, not a sprint.

I like to make sure I take enough breaks when writing or studying, so I don’t morph into a crazy person shouting at pigeons!

I shut my laptop or put down my book, then I go and enjoy something mindless and easy. No guilt, no word count, no stress.

The Plan is….

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Caution: stream of consciousness post

I’m scouring social media and the interwebs for ideas for posts: something that will make my fingertips happy, so I can start tapping away at my keyboard. Instead, I’m sat at my computer, wondering, “What the hell should I write?’

I got nothing. Nada. Zilch. Niente. Bumpkiss. Sweet-F-A!

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It’s not that I don’t know what to write; I don’t have writers block. It is more sinister than that. I want to write, plus I have loads of ideas! But there’s only so much space in my brain, and the process of trying to organise the crowd of ideas, characters and scenes into an orderly queue is exhausting.

With all of these creative thoughts floating around my cranium, every time I try and get them out of my head space and on to the white-space of the page, they flip-flap about and refuse to coalesce into anything tangible let along readable.

I need a plan. I need a ‘book’ plan!

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Thing is, I’m an excellent planner. I go so far to say I’m an A-class organiser, but that’s probably got something to do with being a Type A personality.

Right now, I am reading one or two books on the art of novel planning i.e. wire framing, plotting, characterisations etc. So shoot me! I like systems (love a spreadsheet) and I need some kind of routine otherwise I’m never going to get the ideas out of my head and on to a page.

But recently, even reading the damn books is a chore! My eyes were drifting shut, and I just wanted to run away from it all. Pretend I don’t want to do this thing called writing and do something easier…like be an accountant or just pretend I’m cool with the status quo.

GAHHHHHH! Must write! Must write!! MUST WRITE!!! But I need to plan this damn book. I keep getting distracted and it’s preventing me from writing my story.

Back to the drawing board troops. I need a deadline!

100,000 words do not write themselves in a day!

100,000 words do not write themselves in a day!

Okay here it is, my self-imposed but not impossible deadline: by the 1 April 2014, I will have planned the basic storyline and structure of the book.

I have a plan for my proposed plan! And now I have deadline! My Type A personality feels a little better now.

Signing off.