Still stalling. Whilst I am firing on all cylinders with everything else and flying around like my blood is 99% caffeine, I can’t seem to get started with Alice again. I’m not sure why that is, it’s not as if I don’t know where to go with it or have nothing to say – it’s all there, swimming around in my mind and although there are still some amendments I’m not entirely sure what to do with, it should IN THEORY be super easy to just get it all out and worry about the cosmetics later.
I read this article earlier today about procrastination and the “2-minute Rule”. Basically, take two minutes to do something and the rest will follow – write a couple of sentences and suddenly you’ll find the words start flowing, strap on your running shoes and get outside and the mileage will follow, wash the dishes, chuck the laundry into the washing machine… …give whatever it is that you’re putting off two minutes and it’ll be enough to get you going. While I can see how this is excellent advice, my problem is STARTING. That’s my issue right there and the very thing – especially with the writing – that has held me back so many times before. I just don’t START!
The flow isn’t a problem, that’s keeps on going – but only if I fucking START!
In the summer I spent a good three or four weeks on letting Alice take shape in my mind, and once I found that starting point it all just came spilling out faster than I was able to type, and each day B came home from work I was bubbling over wanting to tell him all about it. Now he gets home and I have nothing to say as far as Alice goes – she’s on life support and that’s fucking insane as she wasn’t ill or injured in the first place. The only person who can shake her and make her spring to life again is ME. No one else.
I did find ways of overcoming that dreaded writer’s block, and perhaps by listing the things that worked, I might get my arse into gear again?
1. It doesn’t have to be print ready or even NEAR perfect straight away! I often stall when I don’t feel I have that powerful and perfectly composed first sentence nailed, and instead cringe at the blank screen and find a million other things to do. But no one needs to read any of it until I say so, and there is nothing stopping me from going back and deleting shite parts or even several pages. Just WRITE! Doesn’t matter if it’s bollocks. Just wriiiiiiiiiiiiite like there’s no tomorrow.
2. Use that feeling! Yes, even that feeling of not achieving what you had hoped! Mm-hmm, that one. The feeling of emptiness, when the words just won’t come and the disappointment when you for whatever reason can’t make it happen. Use it for a character, a section or even just a sentence. Make it part of the story. I did this once when I got annoyed over porridge. Yes – porridge. Who knew that would make for a really bitter sweet few pages? Well, it did. And so can feeling down.
3. Allow yourself to write! Stop with the ‘should’ and focus on ‘want to’! Nothing strangles the creative flow quicker than feeling you SHOULD do something. Go for a run because how great it feels and how much good it does, don’t let the primary purpose be weight loss or a smaller butt – sure, both of those may be bonuses, but start with the WANT TO!
4. Write with a sense of joy and gratitude! Even when you’re feeling down – use lows for the story and feel joyful that your writing will be so much richer for it. And what’s better than where I am at right now? Having the opportunity to give what I always wanted to do my best shot is nothing short of spectacular! But even if there’s only time to give it half an hour late at night, that’s still amazing – not everyone has a story to tell, so when you do, GO FOR IT and let your heart sing!
Right. I’m going to go back over my notes from my sessions with R and see if I can make myself see all this again and practice what I preach. Any advice or tips regarding writer’s block are of course gratefully received!