Friday, March 14, 2008


The last two weeks have been...tough. Like I said in a comment, wrestling with this first story has sunk my confidence to rock bottom and hiked my anxiety levels to insomniac.

Every night I'd go to bed exhausted, but I'd just lie there, my brain turning over the problems with the story, the editing I still had to do as I'd started it afresh, how to inject pace and tension without killing the style, the fact that I still had loads of work left to do and should really be doing more, why was I so lazy? Taking time off work to write and not doing it eight hours a day. Get it together, I'd hiss at myself. You have to do a great job, first time around. You don't have the time or money to fuck it up. Your writing has to be perfect.

After a fitful sleep I'd wake up exhausted and bully myself into writing, hating what I was producing because it wasn't really going anywhere, just going in circles because I didn't have the guts to finish it or go back and fix what I wanted to fix. As the rain was slamming against the windows and the wind banging the doors I'd sit in the gray dusk, too defeated to turn on the light, and stare at the wall while my head fretted and fidgeted until The Ours came home to mark the end of the working day but I only wanted to watch the same old programmes on tv and complain about how I just wanted to sleep and be productive and why couldn't I do it, perhaps I wasn't cut out for writing because I felt so lonely and dejected and why couldn't I get it together? Then I'd go to bed exhausted and the scene would play itself out again, stuck in my own Groundhog Day of Hell.

But by Thursday morning something had changed, perhaps the colours shone a little brighter or I'd slept a little deeper, and not only did I write 1400 words but I printed out what I had written and made notes on how to change things, and I realised that it wasn't actually that bad, actually some of it was...good! Some scenes needed to be moved around and the dialogue needed more to and froing, but I wouldn't have to scrap it. It was a relief.

And at the end of this week I'm proud to say that even though my mood was the pits I was still able to produce an average of 1100 words a day. Perhaps I am cut out to be a writer after all. I am back to great form again, looking forward to spending a long St. Patrick's Day weekend with The Ours and my friends. I still have a long way to go but I think I can do it.


Cal said...

Whoever said writing was easy 'eh? :o) I know where you're coming from Yvonne. I don't think I've ever known ANYTHING other than writing affect my mood so much. One minute you're all doom and gloom and 'everything I write is shit' and the next there's joy in your heart and your excited and buzzy and 'I can do this!' It's like you're some kind of schitzophrenic writing creature. But I'm soooo glad you came out of your slump and are on the up again. Enjoy :o)

KAREN said...

There's a story in that post somewhere, just fighting to get out :o)

It's bloomin' hard isn't it? I couldn't sleep last night, despite being tired, because I kept going over and over the chapter I'm working on. I dream about writing and wake up thinking about it. Good job I love it as well. (When I don't hate it!)

You came out the other end, though, which is a Very Good Sign!

Yvonne said...

Cal, thanks for your comment, when you're in the slump it's difficult to see the big picture. Being able to read other writers' blogs like yours and read your comments has been a great help this week, especially when I learn that everyone goes through it - it's not that I'm going mad!

Karen, perhaps I could call it Groundhog Day of Hell? ;) I hate those sleepless nights, but the dreams are pretty good if I get an're so right about the love/hate relationship, it's a strange mistress this writing lark.

Alix said...

I'm so glad you made it through the gloom.
It's so interesting to hear about the other side of the creative process, the hard slog as well as the magic. I think a lot of us non artists think you just sit down and write and that's it.
Hope the gloom stays away.
Enjoy St Patrick's day.

JJ said...

That's great news that you're on the up again. Keep it up.

Helen said...

You've summed up so eloquently how I often feel. I'm glad you have come out the other side.

-Ann said...

Keep at it. I know it's rough. I hate the editing process, but I'm trying to learn to love it. Well, at least tolerate it.

Yvonne said...

Alix, thanks. I think it's like anything - you look at other people's jobs and you think 'I'd love to do that' and then you find out the bad side when you actually do it!

JJ, thanks!

Helen, thank you, your comment means a lot to me.

Ann, I knew the editing process was going to test me...sigh. I must be more tolerant!!!

HelenMH said...

I haven't even got to the editing stage yet. But I think the whole thing is hard to be honest and that's why we all get our down down days. But welcome back to an up day and have a great weekend x

Yvonne said...

Helen, you're right it's all hard. I just hope that it gets easier soon...and have a great weekend too!

jen said...

Keep plugging away at it. I reckon it must be pretty emotionally draining too, 'cos it's your own stuff you're pulling apart and that's a hard, brave thing to do.

Debs said...

So glad you ended the week on a high. I know exactly how you feel though, this writing lark is hard sometimes.

Yvonne said...

Jen, that's true and I keep forgetting that. It's so personal.

Debs, it is hard! But things are looking up.