Friday, 18 November 2011

How To Survive When You Have Fallen Into A Writing Black Hole

I’m not sure what it is about this time of year but around October time and into November I find writing really hard. Ideas don’t want to budge. Stories get stuck in draft zero. Stories written months ago now seem stupid. Rejections feel like a punch in the stomach. I started questioning myself – why should I be writing, I can’t write, I should pack up all my writing bits and pieces and hide them in the loft. I had fallen into a writing black hole. Maybe it’s the nights getting darker, earlier.

So this year I have been filled my notebook with tips and tricks to stop myself from being sucked all the way into the black hole:
  • Don’t over think ideas.
  • Struggling with an idea? – Take a bath, relax, let the idea roll around in your head. Have the notebook on stand-by.
  • Don’t feel like you need to write a story chronologically. The story might operate with a beginning, middle and end but you don’t have to write within the structure. Cut, Copy and Paste are your best friends.
  • Not everything you write deserves to be published.
  • Writing is subjective.
  • Stuck? Read Writing Down The Bones.
  • Keep a writing diary – write down what you achieve even if it’s only ’50 words written’ or ‘read ten pages of book.’
  • Sometimes playing Eye of the Tiger can really help. Don’t punch the laptop screen.
  • Once you're ready to write then keep the word counts small and build up - try 100 words each day with anything else being a bonus. Expand word count.
So what have I been doing? Well, I have been writing a brand new chapter 1 for my novel. I am hoping this chapter will set up the character and the world in a better way than the now defunct chapter one (which now becomes chapter 3). I have been reading. A lot. And my first review for The View From Here Magazine should be appearing over the next few weeks. I have some ideas that need teasing out. I’m hoping they will become flash fiction pieces and short stories.


Mike French said...

Shouldn't drinking coffee and eating lots of chocolate cake be on the list?

Jessica said...

Oh yes, I missed the chocolate! I'll pass on the coffee (it gives me a migraine!)