Sunday, 16 June 2013

Hitting the Wall

For those of you who have read some of my posts before, you might remember that on (or around, I'm bad for being late) the 14th of the past couple of months, I've put up a post to keep myself motivated while I get through my latest writing project. I started it at New Year's, as part of my resolution, and for the first couple of months it went great - I powered through my chapters, and passed my word counts with ease.

But then it started happening.

As the 14th approached every month, I began realising that I still had three chapters to write, and no inspiration to write them with. I was uninspired and felt miserable, since it felt that it was going nowhere and was just going to end up as a complete disaster. Still, I chugged along, determined that I was just getting lazy, and what mattered was to keep going. 

But on Friday, I finally hit the wall.

The 14th had come around once again and as usual, I sat myself down at the desk, turned the laptop on and prepared myself to blitz through the words I had to complete by midnight. If you're a writer and you're reading this, you will probably have experienced this horror.

No words came out. Not one. Nothing. Every sentence I started, I deleted half way through. Nothing seemed to fit. The story was going nowhere. I could feel the frustration rise in my chest, and it felt like I was drowning but no one could reach me.

So that was when I decided to do the unthinkable. I took a deep breath, lifted my hand, and turned the laptop off again. I grabbed a pad and pen and started brainstorming.

I was going to start over.

The thought still scares me a little, since there's the best part of 20,000 words tucked away in the laptop at the minute, that I'm reluctant to get rid of. Although I'm not necessarily happy with it, that represents so many hours of work, it feels like such a waste.

But once I got to thinking and stripped what I wanted to say right down to the nuts and bolts, I found ideas flowing a lot easier. For the first time in so long, I was excited about what I was writing, and wanted to keep going indefinitely. I wanted to write this story and am really excited at the prospect of setting out on this mission, even if it does mean addressing the blank page.

What I'm trying to say is, I've found it very liberating to be starting a fresh - letting go of what's been bogging me down and rising above it to create something better. It's easy to let things get overwhelming. It's no coincidence that I'm writing this today, as today would have been my Granny's 63rd birthday, if she hadn't been taken away from us in 2007. What's been keeping me going is knowing that I can rise above the pain and the sadness to create something better. Letting go of what's been bogging me down.

So I'll keep you up to date with my progress. It's unlikely that I'll be able to stick with the deadlines I set myself before, since my plan was to write a novel in a year, starting January 1st, and I'm still in the brainstorming stages, wrangling with my plot. Ideally, I'd like to write a kind of inaugural post when the writing actually begins. I'm hopeful for this project and have all my fingers and toes crossed.