Getting It Written

 

I’m knee deep into a new WIP.
It’s something quite different for me – a story set in the East End of London during the First World War – and I’m really excited about it. The details are for another time – another post – but for now my question is:

WHY DO I INSIST ON TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT BEFORE I GET IT WRITTEN?!

After writing (nearly) two novels, you’d think I’d know by now, wouldn’t you? Everyone talks about it. It’s all over Twitter. ‘Don’t get it right, get it written.’ And it’s not as if I didn’t learn the hard way the first time around; ages and ages spent faffing around on the first three chapters -crafting, wordsmithing, sobbing – only for said same three chapters barely even making the final cut.
This time I’ve even got a plan. I’ll never be a true plotter, but I have a five page synopsis type thing to guide the way – so I haven’t even got the excuse that I don’t know what comes next. Yet, here I am again; farting around the with the first three chapters, fretting that I haven’t got to the heart of the matter, that it all sounds really plonky … that it’s all a bit crap really.
Luckily, I have my friends to remind me that it’s meant to be all a bit crap – it’s a shitty first draft for goodness sake  – and I’m meant to feel that it’s among the worst things ever written. And at least I’ve caught myself this time, before I’ve wasted days and weeks …
Onwards and upwards.
Chapter Four here I come.
No more dithering and procrastinating!
At least I’m not the type of person to get side-tracked by dashing off the odd blog post …

New Year, New Me?

A very happy new year to you all!

(Well, it’s still January. Just.)

I hope 2019 has started off well for you. This year I didn’t make any resolutions. I usually do, but this year I actively chose not to. They never work – well, they don’t for me, anyway. By the end of January, the diet de jour – started so enthusiastically and oh-so-religiously – has usually ground to a sticky (and sweet!) halt. The ambitious new gym routine has often seamlessly morphed into a series of chiropractic appointments after one too many badly-executed burpees. And  I am left feeling broke, dispirited, a failure. Who needs that?  But there’s another reason for not making any resolutions. All those promises of a ‘new year, new you’. Well, this year, I decided I didn’t actually want to be a ‘new me’. I am quite happy being the current me, with all my flaws and failures and inconsistencies. There was a moment, two hours into the new year, when hubbie and returned from an evening with good friends. 19 year son was just back from clubbing and 16 year old daughter was hosting a gathering  – or was it a motive? – for a maximum of seven friends  – although I must have been seeing double after all the booze. 😉 We all shared a cuppa and I realised that I am utterly blessed and exactly where I want to be.

(I did have a little thought, though, that maybe if I didn’t make any resolutions, reverse psychology would kick in and I would effortlessly lose a stone and become lithe and supple. To date, I must report, it hasn’t happened.)

Anyway, all this doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals and aims for 2019 and this particularly applies to my writing. I am determined to give 100% to any opportunities that come my way this year and to keep the dream alive. One opportunity that I have been really really happy to embrace is to join with four of my writing buddies, Jane Cable, Kitty Wilson, Susanna Bavin and Cass Crafton to form Sister Scribes.  We have positioned ourselves as women writers about women writing. We will be appearing on the Frost Website every week and we’ve just got our own twitter handle.  Please do come and take a look.us