Thursday, 24 May 2012

I Ain't Got No Rhythm!

Are you regular - with regard to writing, that is - or do your stories progress with little rhyme or reason?

My prevailing mood of the week is... *drum roll* ...frustration. I can't seem to get into 'proper writing' mode, i.e. producing stuff that makes sense or editing stuff so that it makes sense. I have produced pages of freewriting, but the words refuse to assemble into stories.

I've been thinking about my last post, where I mention that Ray Bradbury set out writing a story a week. The way Bradbury describes it, this sounds like a mechanical method of writing that always produces a story a week. I'm envious: my writing is far more erratic.

Some weeks I seem to go into overdrive, producing drafts and editing and completing/polishing stories. Other weeks, I seem stuck. Guess which occurs more frequently?

The logical part of my brain says 'relax - it all averages out in the end' but my impulse is to panic. All I can do is keep trying and hang in there. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the glorious Devon sunshine!



  1. You're describing my kind of week, sometimes, Hayley! Wish I could be more organised and focused but the online world seems to take up so much time these days.

  2. It is hard to find a rhythm. Real life keeps getting in the way. And when there is some time and opportunity, the will to write might not be there!

    I've tried to surmount the problem by treating my writing as a full-time job as often as I possibly can. I start before nine and don't finish until four/five if the day allows it. At weekends I get up really early to write before the family have surfaced for the day. That peaceful, clear stretch of time can be really rewarding.

    Of course I procrastinate. I waste time. I sometimes fall asleep. And I make all sorts of excuses to myself for taking a break. But I still make myself sit down and start something new every day, even if it's just the first few paragraphs. Then I go back to something already in progress and try to add to that. Sometimes it might be just a few more lines, but on a good day I can push on with it and enlarge it a lot more. I know I may not keep every word I write and some will be complete rubbish, but at least there'll be something to edit at the end of the story/novel. And the bits I delete often give me ideas for what might work better. It's never totally wasted effort.

    It can be hard to get started at the beginning of the day, but not doing any writing at all feels a lot harder at the end of it!

    Best of luck! x

  3. Thank you both :-) Glad I'm not the only one who struggles!

  4. I believe that perseverance is a key ingredient to any kind of successful writing. "Hang in there" is right, and, of course, try to enjoy the process. : )

  5. Thanks Cynthia :-) I have to say, the process has certainly been more enjoyable the last week or so, since I've been working in the garden sunshine!