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.

2 comments:

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!)