Friday, 11 June 2010

I'm not writing :-(

So I'm not writing anything. Over the weeks since I started this eating plan, I have done precisely bugger all towards my work in progress (WIP). And it's not just these past weeks either - I never do it! I want to be a writer and I don't write.

I could start to make my usual excuses, like "We've had visitors this past couple of days," and "It was my daughter's birthday this week," which would be true, but I also know that they are unrelated to this sad outcome.

The thing is - and herein lies the cause of my current discontent - I was sure, that my eating and my lack of writing anything when I so badly want to be a published writer are related issues, and I admit I was kind of hoping that if I got on top of the eating, the writing thing would just naturally start to happen. It hasn't.

When I don't write, I don't let myself do anything else extra either, because "I really should be writing so I can't possibly take the time to do xyz." So I languish in disorganised chaos at home, just doing routine chores, cooking food, surfing the net, not even blogging much, and feeling like life is on top of me. I hate this. I have wasted so much time like this, and I don't understand why it happens.

I was in town with my daughter on Tuesday, taking her to her dance class, and she started to ask me about my writing. She often does. She knows how badly I want to make it happen. I love my Tuesdays in town with my daughter. I meet her from school, and we walk in together down Micklegate, and first browse the shops, before going for a bite to eat. Dance isn't till 6pm, so we make an outing of it, every week. My daughter had her 13th birthday this week, and already seems more grown up. "What you need to do, Mum," she said "Is treat your writing like a job. Just make sure you're sitting down at the computer at 9am, and then write for the day, or for however long you want to." Wise words indeed. She makes it sound so simple. Why can't I do it? Why does it never happen like that?

My husband goes for the goal setting approach, talking about targets of amounts of words written by certain dates. That's all very sensible and workmanly, and I love the idea - but I don't do it.

Something is wrong. Have I got some weird underachievement disorder? Maybe I don't want it badly enough? Maybe I'm just lazy - a fat slob, a layabout. Shouldn't I get up of my fat arse and get a "proper" job instead? Or at least make a damn good job of being a housewife with a pristine house and immaculate garden, if I'm not going to go out to work? Not only is that NOT my natural inclination, but you see, I should be writing, so I can't possibly do it.

I have wanted this for years. Literally, years. I'm not writing anything erudite, that makes me have to keep stopping and pondering the meaning of life - quite the contrary, my current WIP is aimed at the category historical romantic fiction market. I love those type of stories. They're fun, and I love imagining the settings and creating the characters. Why can't I bloody get on with it?


  1. Whoa there!

    Don't get all arsey with yourself about writing. I might be mistaken but aren't you writing here and if I may be so bold making a bloody good job of it?

    The writing thing will take care of itself eventually, I'm no writer, indeed I haven't got an artistic bone in my body, but don't you have to be inspired to create?

    I believe inspiration comes from contentment and motivation, maybe your motivation is being used up with the weight loss thing, then the contentment will follow from your improved self image. Speaking from bitter experience I know the last bit to be true for me anyway.

    If I were you, I'd try to fight on just one front at the moment. But I'm not you and you have to sort this yourself which I'm sure you'll do.



  2. Oh Christie - I think you are me. OMG!

    I have exactly the same problems! I have a half-written novel lying around somewhere and yes, I have time on my hands these days but just don't make progress. (I did start a childrens novel a few years ago and then had to try to 'sell' myself to a literary agent so publishers might look at my stuff, but the agents either didn't get back to me or sent me critiques, which were very positive and helpful, but sort of put me off the whole idea. (Am I the easily defeated type?)

    I have become an expert in wasting time! I don't grab the bull by the horns and just get stuck in...I spend ages thinking about what I should do, then lose all the inclination to do it, both around the house, garden and with all the 'projects' I have lined up!

    I think Clive (above) is right. Succcess breeds success. For moments this week I felt invincible. (Shame they were only moments!) I am a bit of an 'all or nothing' person and also have slight perfectionist tendencies I think. I have to spend all day on my garden and make it IMMACULATE (in it's overfilled green way) or not bother at all. I can't just clean the kitchen because as I am doing it I notice windows need cleaning, drawers need sorting, pans need restacking, etc etc etc..if I am going to do it I make it into a mammoth task, which is madness. Then I feel defeated before I begin, so I don't begin. Just doing 'surface' cleaning and tidying up makes me feel 'bleugh' and sort of brings me down, because I don't see it as REAL achievement, when of course it IS!
    I was going to do all sorts with my free time. If medals were awarded for "thinking about it" I'd have a chest full of gold ones!

    Sorry this probably hasn't been helpful, but I know how you feel!

  3. Hmmm thats one to get the old grey cells round... I love working through issues hence the job I do! I think Clive and you are right when you think about self image and confidence.

    Pardon my ignorance but how far have you taken writting - have you everdone any courses, or had anything published?

  4. Thanks Clive :-) You're right about the contentment and motivation thing. I once read some writer or other who said that you could only write if you were "emotionally OK" and that sometimes other issues had to be resolved before it happened. Maybe I'm an example of that, and need to get to the bottom of it. It is certainly easier to write at times I'm contented, I've noticed that. And btw, I disagree that you're no writer, you're a natural, and your blog instantly engages the reader - something some writers have to strive hard to do! Thanks for your words of encouragement, they actually made me feel a lot better.

    FG, good to know that someone else out there is the same as me! Maybe there are lots of us, who knows. Yes, I can relate to thinking about projects loads and then not doing them, also to the housework thing. I always find myself suddenly cleaning out the backs of cupboards when I should be doing a quick surface clean - then I give up because it's too much! And it was a helpful comment, because it feels right to be discussing this thing. I want to look at it from all angles, understand it - and try and defeat it!

    Peter, in the town I used to live, I used to write a monthly column on local history for one of those free magazines which come through the door. To be honest it was quite a lot of work for not a lot of money as I had to do my own research at the records office, but it was a good confidence booster at the time, and I even got interviewed on local radio once about a related history issue. I also did advertorial pieces another local mag sometimes, and wrote a blog of advertising pieces for the local newspaper. I have had one article published in a national magazine (Writer's Forum) on how writing online can boost your confidence as a writer. I've never done a writing course, but I've read loads of writing magazine articles over the years, and my subject at uni was language and linguistics.

    I've always wanted to write a novel, which is what I'm (supposed to be) trying to do now, as breaking into the romantic fiction market would provide me with regular work and a reasonable, steady income.