Getting the words from brain to page

I’ve had the most wonderful day. I spent it wrestling with the behemoth that is re-writing. At 11 o’clock this morning I didn’t think I was going to write anything – it was like squeezing a stone and expecting to get lemonade.

I gave up and went for a walk, a coffee and a read of the paper. I was making my slow way up the hill again when a story started to tell itself in the back of my head. I practically sprinted the rest of the way, in order to get onto the PC and start typing before I lost it again. I’ve now printed off 5000-odd words. It doesn’t look much, but it adds 9% to the novel, and it has completely answered my problem as to how to give the MC’s love interest a voice of his own.

It has been wonderful to have a whole day to dedicate to writing (even though I still spent a large proportion of it on writing avoidance strategies). It wasn’t so much the number of words – I can often get 500 or 1000 words done on a work day, although the housework and family suffer a bit – but to really get my head round a new idea or direction, I need the time spent walking, thinking, letting it percolate.

How is this interesting or useful, you ask? I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to waste a day, allowing your ideas to ferment in your subconscious. You might not think you’re working, but your brain is still chewing away at it. And also that it’s terribly easy to lose heart, if you tell yourself you must write for the next two hours, and then it doesn’t happen. Persevere. It will be worth it in the end.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. somemaid
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 19:51:07

    Yesterday I spent time I could have spent writing, sitting quietly and reading a book. A completely unrelated book. It was magical. Time to recharge and let the subconscious work is vital. Walking works for me too.

    Reply

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