Saturday, August 14, 2010

Life getting in the way of writing

With a hot cup of chamomile tea next to me, I'm ready to jump back into the world of blogging. You know, after not blogging for so long, it becomes difficult to get back into it. Just like writing a novel.

Which leads me right onto what's on my mind. I've been in a dark place in my life, which then filters into my writing and reading. Everything dries up. Is this an excuse? My fears subconsciously getting in my way to prevent me from writing and, therefore, failing? Possibly. "Keep the drama on the page," as Julia Cameron says in her book, The Right to Write.

The discipline to write daily is lacking.

But there may be more to it than that. I had a lightbulb moment when I read Jane Mulberry Jones's blog post on Seven Sassy Sisters. Like Jane, I find myself writing a first chapter (or three or four!), only to decide it's all crap, get discouraged, then stop writing for a while. Which makes me damn miserable! And until I let myself write a crappy first draft, nothing will change. Which I've known for ages, but can't seem to overcome. (Besides the one time when I successfully finished NaNoWriMo. And can't seem to replicate.)

Since I've let my doubts get in the way in the past, I made a promise to myself to enter the next HM&B competition. So I'll be entering a first chapter into the New Voices competition. Once I get that chapter up to scratch, that is...

Who else is entering? And how do you overcome the life obstacles and inner doubts so you can continue writing?

6 comments:

Madeleine said...

Yes I've been exactly the same until I realised that what was holding me back was that I had no idea what direction I was taking. I wanted to write and started to write, but ran out of steam. Then I discovered that I needed to learn more about how to structure my novel in terms of subplotting and discovered that what I was lacking was theme. Once you have the theme firmly set in your head all the characters, subplots and main plot will evolve from this.

Lacey Devlin said...

Yay on entering NV (I'll be checking on you and your doubts so don't think you can back out now without a doctor's note ;-) ). Lots of luck!

Angie Peters said...

Hi Madeleine,

You've hit the nail on the head here. Running out of steam - that's it, exactly! I think I'll try a more structured approach like you do, and see if that works. Thanks for the advice :) Sometimes it's difficult to see the forest for the trees, LOL

Angie Peters said...

LOL, Lacey. No backing out now then, is there? Will you be entering? I know you've been vacillating. C'mon! If I can enter, then you can :)

Jackie Ashenden said...

Hi Angie, I would say you're not alone. I always do that, the first three chapters and then think...sigh... Which is why I do the dirtiest draft possible, get it all down before I lose interest and heart. And then I do my editing and polishing and whaddaya know? It's better than I thought. What is it that Nora says? Something about getting it down and fixing it later.
Great that you're entering the competition!

Angie Peters said...

Hi Jackie,

I think the dirty draft thing is probably the best thing I can do to get the damn book finished. Otherwise, too much analysis slows down the progress...Stops it to a standstill (sigh).

I hope you're entering the comp, too? From your blog, it sounds like you might. Good luck!

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