“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap stuff and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.” – Octavia E. Butler
I am always doing something. More often than not, I’m multi-tasking too. When I wrote the notes that would become this blog post, I was watching a movie. While writing these very words, I am catching up on the latest episode of Jane The Virgin. I fill up my time with so many things that often I double up just to get through it all. This often leads to burning myself out. Which is the position I’ve found myself in with my latest project.
I’ve mentioned before about the little targets I set myself but those writing sessions only go so far when the story itself isn’t working. I’ve spent the past month jumping around the timeline to bits I feel like I’m ready to work on only to hit wall after wall.
So I’ve taken the hardest decision of all: taking a break. It’s not often talked about because writing is often seen as a rush to a metaphorical finish line, but taking time away from a project is just as important as working day in and day out on it. For now, this story needs that breathing space and I need to take the time to rest a little and recover.
It’s easy to feel guilty about it. It’s very difficult to do and I think almost every day about whether it is the right decision or not. But I need to stick to it. How long will the break be? I don’t know. Will I ever return to this project? I don’t know. And I’m starting to learn that it’s alright. Slowly but surely. This project, or whatever I move on to next, will be worth it for the time out I take right now.
Have you ever taken a break?
Do you feel guilt for not writing?
“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.” – Doris Lessing.
When it comes to sitting down and committing to writing sprints, silence is my enemy. That seemingly never-ending quiet just makes it all too easy for my mind to drift, for me to pull open a window and call down the internet’s many rabbit holes, and make me feel almost uncomfortable. I can’t pinpoint the how or the why I work better with some sort of background noise (often I multi-task and catch up on my TV shows/ movies while working away at my laptop), but it’s always been the way and so I decided to embrace it many a year ago.
Joining the online book community and seeing how many of my author inspirations created playlists to act as the soundtrack for their books was really interesting. It had become a norm. While I’ve recently gone down the same route for my own projects to help me get into the right mindset for the varying narratives, my absolute gem for writing sessions is my generic “writing playlist” which is a compilation of my favourite score music from films.
Backed up by Harry Potter, The Book Thief, The Maze Runner, How To Train Your Dragon score tracks, I am able to become fully immersed in the worlds I’m creating and treat it as something serious that I’m working on rather than just a cute little hobby (but of course there’s nothing wrong with that)! It helps to block out everything around me while I weave the various threads of an every changing world together. And that is its own form of magic.
Do you have any special requirements in order to write?
Do you indulge in music or is silence golden?
Blurb: “Life has changed since university. Robert, Louisa and Jim’s careers are going nowhere. Yet when the three friends are brought together once more, their past regrets will lead them on a trip of ambition, recognition and revenge. Evan Hargreaves is dead. Faced with a new appreciation of their own mortality, the former-classmates embark on an impromptu getaway. But what starts as a simple writer’s retreat to the Sunshine State quickly goes awry.”
While the purpose of this blog is to deliver book reviews, this time I’m going to be sharing something a little different. I am a third year Creative Writing student and sadly in a few months I’ll be entering the “real world.” For one of my final projects, we had to produce a publication with the end goal being to sell it to the general public at the big Independent publisher fair which happens every year in Leicester.
I had the honor of working with friends (and super talented writers) Thomas Arthur and Corey Bedford.I couldn’t have picked better people to work on this project with and I’m truly grateful that I had these guys around for when I was on the verge of crying over how much work we had to put into this. But it was so worth it.
People often tell me that I’ll never make a lot of money from being a writer. This is something I accepted long ago. That was never my end goal when it came to writing. I just wanted to write. For me, it’s holding the final product in your hands. Getting to hold “Going Nowhere” after the months of planning, writing and editing was a feeling that I truly cannot put into words.
We have to present them at a showcase at the festival this weekend and hopefully sell all of our copies as it was only a small print run. I’m very proud of this piece because it wasn’t Young Adult, so I had to branch out and even write some poetry (which Corey will know better than anyone how much I struggle with).
It’s been a wonderful adventure and while I’m a little bit sad that it’s over.
On to more writing projects!