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Teeth Gnashing, Hair Tearing, Table Thumping …

Oh for goodness sake!

Planning? Check.
Time set aside to write? Check.
NaNo Camp in place? Check.
Laptop plugged in? Check.
Writing progress? Now don’t ask, just don’t …

I’m in a frustrating place right now. There is nothing to stop me getting on and writing this blooming book, nothing at all. So why is it proving to be so hard?

I’ve written the opening scene and I hate it. It’s not well written, it’s stilted, it’s just so awful. I know that the process of getting on and writing is the important thing but the words are being so difficult. Everything I wrote seems to be forced, unnatural and not really ‘me’. I know that all this can be fixed in the editing but the way I feel at the moment it will all be edited away and I’ll be left with a flashing cursor and a blank page!

Nobody told me it would be this tough. Having overcome my reticence and announced to the world that I’m a writer I now find I’m struggling to write! How ironic. I guess this is a regular feature of writing but it’s frustrating the heck out of me!

I lay in bed last night wondering what I could do about it and I’ve decided that I’m going to change the format of the book. It’s not working as it is so it needs to change. Thankfully I’m not too far into the darn thing but it is annoying that I hadn’t thought out the format before I started. That’s a lesson learned for next time – Oh God, does there have to be a next time?!?

So consider me frustrated, annoyed and wiser. Nothing about this writing a book lark is turning out to be how I imagined it. Guess that means I’m a proper writer, eh? 

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11 thoughts on “Teeth Gnashing, Hair Tearing, Table Thumping …”

  1. Don't forget what Hemingway said, 'The first draft of anything is shit!' I'm sure your writing isn't actually as bad as you think it is, but I'd strongly advise you to turn off the critical part of your brain that keeps evaluating how you're getting on – like you say you can always edit it later. The stiltedness you're identifying probably comes from your inner editor getting too involved too early. Just write and don't worry about how good it is – once you get into the flow the words will start to come more easily. Good luck!

  2. I can only only echo Becky's comment: silence the inner critic and get to that first draft! It really is something very precious, that first rush of ideas and words and characters and the excitement of the plot… Editing comes later and is really a very different thing. Enjoy the process and don't put too much pressure on yourself – that's what makes the inner critic come out and be very bossy and demanding…

  3. I can only only echo Becky's comment: silence the inner critic and get to that first draft! It really is something very precious, that first rush of ideas and words and characters and the excitement of the plot… Editing comes later and is really a very different thing. Enjoy the process and don't put too much pressure on yourself – that's what makes the inner critic come out and be very bossy and demanding… Best wishes, Marija x

  4. The first time I did NaNoWriMo I felt like you, but decided to just keep writing and deal with the problems later.

    The trouble is that problems beget problems, and now I have a load of words with so many problems I'm having to tear the whole thing apart and start again.

    Part of me wonders if I would be better off just scrapping it and starting again, but I'm choosing to believe that what I've written is good… or goodish, but just wrong.

    Changing it has involved writing another book by way of distraction, but I've also done a lot of work thinking of how I'm going to put that first one right. It's going to take a lot longer than a month.

  5. I think you need to just carry on regardless! It's all to easy to listen to the self doubt demon but if you end up with a half written novel at the end of this (I can't remember what your word count aim is) then that's still a huge win! It doesn't need to be perfect, I think just getting the words out is something to be proud of. Good luck! xx

  6. It's that dreadful feeling that what you're writing is nonsense and of no value but you know that you have to plough on with it. After all, if you've got nothing written there's nothing to edit and improve.

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