Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's all talk

I’m back in Bangkok and jetlagged. I went to sleep this afternoon because I couldn’t stay awake which means I’ll wake again tonight (probably).

This morning at 3am: PING I’m awake. I felt pretty good until at Book Group when I had a moment of aphasia while trying to introduce a new member. I knew the existing member’s name – it was in my head – but I couldn’t work out how to make the right sounds and it wouldn’t come out. Sooo embarrassing.

In my final days in the UK I had a horrible, horrible, H.I.D.E.O.U.S (just in case you were in any doubt) realisation: that I share certain genes with my family. I’ve buried it deep and tried to deny that this applies to me but it’s just no good; I’ve got them. I’ve got a hefty dose of Stevens ‘fantasy planning’ genes. We talk about all the things we’re going to do … and that’s all we do: TALK.

It’s me and my book.
It’s me and the filing.
It’s me and Charles Dickens, Tom Jones, and Madame Bovary.

I’ve lost the only 750 words I’ve written since January. I talked to Julia about this last Friday (not being a klutz and losing documents) but about the routine: doing it, writing, sitting and doing. It’s all to do with my ‘stop talking about it and just do it’ thing.

I make a big announcement: ‘this is what I’m going to do…’ and then fizzzzz pipple… and it’s gone. The air is thick with the evaporation of my grand plans.

I don’t want to be one of those people who say they want to write a book.


Leatherdykeuk said...

Write 100 words today. It can be any scene in the book.

Then you'll *be* writing a book.

Better still, rewrite those 'lost' 750 words, only write them better ;)

Yvonne said...

I've lost my mojo today too. I have a ton of writing and editing to do, but after the long weekend all I want to do is ANYTHING but write. I feel guilty, but not enough to actually do anything about it.

Angie said...

It seems simple to an outsider, but somehow actually sitting down to write is the hardest part. It's taken me two years to find a routine that works for me, and even then I find myself "talking, not doing" for chunks of my day.
I think you have a gift, you just need to figure out what works for you. (Your description "the air is thick..." was very poignant.)
And I share your fear. Let that desire motivate you.
-Ang xx

JJ said...

Rachel, thank you. I'm going to try REALLY hard to get on with it.

Yvonne, oh honey. I've just seen your post too. Don't give up. You can do it; stamp on that fear thing...

Angie, thank you. It does help to hear that it's been hard for others. Sometimes I feel I've wasted the last year ... trying. I am going to try again though. Get on with the actual writing.

liz fenwick said...

JJ, I've had a revelations of sorts with reworking the book I wrote last year for the Novel Racers. I wrote just 100,000 in three months. The bones of the story were there but I left myself one hell of a lot of work to try and make it it a book. Now out of the that mass of stone if you will I am trying to carve something good. I think this is the harder way to write to be honest but at this stage of my writing 'career' it worked for me. I was able to say that I have written three books complete - the first one shite, the second after much reworking okay, and the third still shite but it has potential. Being able to say that has boosted the lagging self confidence. Even if the words are crap I wrote them. I used to have a thing about never finshing anything - be it sweaters I was knitting or other projects I tackled. Now with three kids watching every move I make I know I finally at the age forty five have to show them and me that I can complete something - even if it mean beating my head against the lap top daily in despair. You can do this JJ. Just write - get the crap out and craft it later. Once that first book is under your belt then become a perfectionist again!

Sorry that's an awful lot tirade......

L-Plate Author said...

Hi JJ, glad to see you're back safe and sound!

It was tough for me to sit in that bar with all that talent around me! I've finally started on book three, (I'm with Liz on that one, the more you do, the more you think you can do).

Caroline has told me to take my writing week by week as it is getting me down, so how about doing that?

Can't wait to meet up again, hun xx

JJ said...

Liz, 'a thing about never finishing things' OMG, yes. Me too. Thank you for all this because it really helps to hear other people's methods.

LPlate, it's funny isn't it? I didn't feel intimidated - but perhaps I should have. All those people who have finished books. It's the published ones for me, it's the bloody finishing. Still, I'm glad I didn't feel intimidated because I really don't need another terror to freeze me up!

Yes, though, week by week. Thanks honey.