Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A hard slog

Some days, trying to get words to line up in some sort of cohesive order which might represent at least the foundations of a story, can be like walking through treacle. Today was one of those days. In fact it was more like trying to walk through treacle with a diving suit on. Nothing flowed. Each sentence had to be constructed word by painful word and then re-written, sometimes more than once. And still they didn't satisfy. Last week I wrote a longer story in half the time and it didn't need much editing. I fear that when I look at this one again, tomorrow or more likely Thursday, I'm going to be very disappointed by what I've written.

But stuff like this happens to writers. A few years ago I had a terrible bout of writer's block and couldn't come up with any ideas or inspiration for months; it was a dark time indeed in my writing career. But then I read an article by an established writer, I forget now who it was, but they said that the best thing you can do when the dreaded writer's block strikes, is to write. It doesn't matter what you write; it can be complete rubbish as I very much suspect is the case for my work today; just so long as you write. Eventually you come out the other side. You may have a supply of rough material from which you can salvage some ideas or it may be a whole lot of bilge - it doesn't matter - at least you kept writing and kept the brain ticking over.

So I shall have to wait and see just how bad today's session was. I may be being harsh on myself, I don't know. The idea around which the story is based is sound I think and as I story-boarded it whilst walking the hound it sounded pretty good. But getting the same idea down on paper is not always easy. I suspect there are many re-writes ahead of me, but somewhere in there there's a half-decent story which I determined shall see the light of day. Luckily the competition I've got in mind for submitting it to, doesn't close for a few more weeks, so I've got the time and space I need to re-work it if necessary.

As for other competitions, the first of the seven which I've already entered announced its long list yesterday and sadly my story "Losing streak" didn't make the cut. I like this story and have re-written it many times to fit various word counts, but sadly it seems that my fondness for the tale is not shared by some of the competition judges out there. I think this time I will have to reluctantly swallow the bullet and retire this story for good. Some things just aren't meant to be.

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