Let it Stew
I'm generally a very impatient person so writing has been a steep learning curve for me since it demands a great deal of reworking and reflection. I'm amazed I've stuck at it this long considering how dubious the benefits are.
But no matter how much I try to walk away from writing, it just won't let me.
So now I've come to accept my delicious curse and am simply getting on with the business of writing.
Over the years I've learnt that my impatience with regards to my writing only leads to frustration. This is particularly so when I'm wrestling with a particular character or scene which will not write itself to my satisfaction. Discussing the problem with a writing group can sometimes help me see the direction I need to be heading in. But more often than not the dilemma is something I need to work through for myself. Regardless of the amount of advice I can be given by my writing peers, essentially, choices such as voice, structure, tense and vocabulary rest with me.
When dealing with writing problems in the past I have wandered round the house, Ruskin, Dulwich and Brockwell park in my bid to get to grips with whatever it was which wasn't working.
The wandering round the house only served to remind me of the dusting and hoovering which still needed doing.
The park walks were pleasant and diverting. While my body was exercised, my mind remained stumped by the direction the novel needed to go.
Now I know better and leave the recalcitrant work to stew in its own juices for at least a fortnight, if not longer.
It seems daft to walk away from the problem but thinking or concentrating on something else has helped me work through writing issues too many times for it to be coincidence.
And more often than not, I've woken up a few weeks later with ideas for a possible solution.
I write every morning. When I'm working on one project then I work at it till I feel there is nothing more to be done to it. At this point I put it aside and begin working on the next thing. Sometimes I alternate between projects.
When I started my blog I was concerned it would interrupt the flow of my fiction. I could not have been more wrong. I'm writing more than ever. I believe the constant switching to and fro keeps my mind alive to new ideas.
To date I've:
- dusted off a young adult novel I wrote several years ago and am now considering publishing it through Autharium next year once someone helps me with the cover
- completed the 1st draft of a new novel in a month
- completed the 2nd draft of the new novel and am now working on the 3rd
- completed a children's novel I've been toying with for 3 or 4 years now
So to all you writers out there, I can highly recommend blogging and leaving your work to stew.
After all, a wonderfully brewed cuppa goes down exceedingly well. Especially if there are biscuits or a slice of cake too.