I haven't been writing. Not one word for three weeks. It's easy to tell myself that my writing is a business and I should just do it, regardless. I can tell myself that I have a plot so don't need to anxiously imagine every single scene; I have enough to begin. I can tell myself that I'm okay, not emotional, so writing won't be hard.
But still it doesn't happen.
I open the program and stare at the last words I wrote. I look at the other scenes already written and I know I was going to change them around and delete a couple so the plot moves forward the way I want it. I move some scenes around. I compile and print the scene map again. I read through it all.
I feel like I'm reading a language I don't understand. These words can't be mine. They're unfamiliar. Uncomfortable. That bubbly feeling I get when the scene is coming together well and I can't wait to see what happens next is nothing more than a distant memory.
I wake up in the morning and sigh because I can't imagine why I need to get up if I'm not going to write. I read a lot of books and mark all the errors, style, grammar and proofreading, but none of them make me get up and do better for myself.
I open my work-in-progress again and stare at it some more, but nothing comes.
I go to work and make a list of things I need to do but can't start any of it. I grab onto one task that isn't urgent, but needs me to leave work and head to the shops. I grab my keys and my laptop and I'm out of there before anyone even realises I've arrived at work.
I do what I need to do for my job, then I sit in a cafe, order a pot of tea, and open my document. A blank page glares at me. I grin at it. This morning I'm going to win. I start easy. I describe the landscape, the weather, what he's doing. It's bones; no flesh, no emotion.
After 30 minutes, I have 372 words. The first words I've written since my mother died.
I go back to work. I can see clearly again. There's no fog burrowing into all the nooks and crannies of my brain. I have a busy day.
I wrote words - 372 of them.
I can do anything.
E E Montgomery
About writing, life, and random thoughts.
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