My pen is lethargic


You may be wondering why it is that I started a blog.  It all came about because of  a desire to reignite my creative writing flame.  I have been a bit stuck since completing my novel.  I have been asking myself for some time now why it is that I cannot seem to get myself to write a second novel.

I have come to realise that it is a combination of things rather than just one specific thing – like writers block.  In fact, I know that it is not writers block.  How do I know this?  Well, I have a million stories floating around my head, and more are added every hour of every day.  They just need organising.  So, writers block – not an issue.

When thinking about my reasons for not writing, the first thing that springs to mind is my previous book.  In the world of getting your book out to the relevant audience, in the hope that a few souls will gain some enjoyment from your months of hard labour, you have to be clinical with it.  The book took me some time to write.  It was my first novel.  A lot of ‘blood, sweat and (many) tears‘ went into it.  Then, once it was complete, I had to start with the editing process.  If you think writing a 200 plus page novel is hard, try editing it afterwards.  I can now say with absolute certainty that writing is easy.  It is far harder to take that precious piece of life you have created and rip it to shreds as you dissect it  searching for loopholes, inconsistencies, incongruities, and the such.  Once you have done that, you will find that you have rewritten half the book.  You reread it, in the vain hope that it will smack (even if only very slightly) of the original.  You satisfy yourself that the basics of your original story are still intact.  Then you have to cleanse it – checking every last word on every single page for spelling and grammatical errors.  Finally, you need to ensure that the chapters and paragraphs are spaced consistently to allow the story to flow.  It is tiring – nay draining- work.  After reading your own story for what feels like the thousandth time, you really just want to close it and see it on the shelf.  After months of hard toil, I finally decided to self publish the book on Amazon.  I am glad that it is done; that I can say I have achieved that but I also have to say that it is certainly reason number one for my lethargic pen.

Reason number two for my lethargy is an easy one.  I find I am too busy to sit down and write.  I know it sounds like a bit of a copout but it is really true.  I don’t know where my time goes, actually.  After doing the school run in the morning, then cleaning the place, doing the laundry, etc, etc, afternoon school run, dealing with my daughter, my husband…and my day is done before I know it. OK, so it IS a bit of a copout.  Half the time, I have no idea what I have done during the day but somehow time still manages to run away from me before I can say boo!  It’s not really an excuse, I know.  I should find the time but when you cannot get yourself to do a thing, you will always find something far more interesting to do (like scraping the black bits off the bottom of pots or cleaning between the tiles with an old tooth-brush – you have no idea how time-consuming and utterly absorbing that can be !).  So my lethargic pen results in my having a home where the windows sparkle and not a spec of dust would dare show its face.

The final, and possibly most compelling reason for my lethargy (not really – I actually think number one is indeed NUMBER ONE) is my current story(or I should rather say – the second story).  Have you ever started writing a story and then realised it has nowhere to go and no matter how hard you try or how many different scenarios you throw at it, it still falls short of becoming anything more than a two-chapter-written-for-a-magazine-short-story-edition?  That’s what happened to me.  I had a great idea for a story and started writing it with relish.  After a couple of chapters I came unstuck.  I did not know where the story was heading.  My heroine was running away from the baddies but she had no idea why and when she wasn’t running away, she was running in circles and getting nowhere very quickly.  Well, there is no story without a plot.  So I couldn’t move forward with it.  It wasn’t for a lack of trying.  I did try.  Remember those millions of ideas floating around my head that I mentioned earlier?  Well, I attempted to apply them ALL to my story and none worked.  I had to conclude that I was indeed at a dead-end.  So I closed my book and put it away.  Why would that give me lethargy?  Its obvious – loss of confidence.  Although I still had all the ideas in my head, I lost confidence in myself.  I had to wonder if I actually still possessed the skills to pull off another story, a complete story, a two hundred plus page story.

And Drawing Room Days was born.  Did it work?  Is my pen still lethargic?  I have written a few posts on my blog.  With each post I regain some of my confidence and I write some more posts.  It builds and builds and builds.

Then it happened.  A couple of days ago I sat down, picked up my pen and closed my eyes.  Before I knew it, I had the beginnings of a new story on the page, my pen had awoken from its slumber.

And my fire…well it’s a spark and we all know that great things begin with a tiny spark…

Copyright  ©  110412 by Karen Payze

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18 Comments

  1. It’ll come, Karen, it’ll come!

    • Thanks for the encouragement :)

  2. I’m glad you found your spark again. And I really enjoyed your honest post. I think we have all gonr through those times of crippling self-doubt that moribunds our pens. Glad you are back on track.

    • Thanks for the kind words :)

  3. When a story has nowhere to go send in the ninjas. Or doing anything that will stir up the pot. Old boyfriend in town, sister announces she is gay, your father decides he can’t stand another minute with that woman (your mother) and is moving in until she see sense. Remember there is only one rule — hit them where it hurts. :-)

    • Indeed :)

  4. I hear you sister. Actually sitting down to do some writing can feel like a chore but once your bum is actually parked it is easier.

    • Yes, I suppose like any job or task, spend too much time doing a thing and it will become a chore. Take a break, then sit down and start over and voila it all comes back :) Or something like that anyway…thanks for the comment :)

  5. mel

    Reblogged this on asidefromwriting and commented:
    Interesting post from the blog of author Karen Payze on why it’s hard to get going with your writing sometimes.

    • Thanks for the reblog!

      • mel

        No problem! It’s a great – honest – post :)

  6. I sort of had the same problem, but delving into the realms of blogging has helped me allot. Writing about different things has shaken something loose. That and copious amounts of fresh air and tea.

    • Yes, blogging has certainly helped me too :) Oh, and I absolutely agree about the tea – don’t know if I get enough fresh air though ;)

  7. Thank you for following my blog i will folow your’s.

    Here is a writing contest if your interested.

    http://thedarkglobe.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/let-the-games-begin-the-dark-globe-create-a-world-writing-contest-has-officiall-begun/

    • I only picked up this comment now as it went to spam. I think because of the link? Anyway, thanks for following :) and unfortunately I missed the competition :( but thanks for the link!

  8. bo dietl spoke about the same topic a few months ago on a recent Don Imus program. Kind of funny how everybody doesn’t seem to feel the same way.

Trackbacks

  1. #13 When new ideas come easily « Drawing Room Days
  2. #18 Sketching something and thinking afterwards: wow that really does look good! « Drawing Room Days

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