So this was the second or third night that I’ve tried this staying late at work and writing thing, and arguably the first when I actually wrote fiction. It was hard work. I wrote an outline of an idea I had for a story, got interrupted and then actually tried to start writing a second, different story. The time dragged and what I was writing wasn’t that great. For a while I just sat there staring at the screen, waiting the appointed time for the revelation.* Sadly, tonight at least, it never came.
See, because in the past I’ve tended to give up easily, and because I feel I’m good at spotting problems and fixes in a draft – because of this I’ve tended to concentrate on just getting it down. Get a first draft, no matter how bad, written and then edit. But actually that’s not much fun if I can see I’m producing crap. It’s not the fun I have when I ramble in this blog and the ideas are flowing, like yesterday with the footnotes. OK, so call it was it is, I was goofing off and it won’t produce anything worth re-writing, but there are nuggets (the lap of luxury thing) and I enjoyed it.
This was just hard. But the books all say the same thing: create a routine and stick to it. Write even if you think it’s rubbish. Inspiration hits a moving target it seems.
In fact I did have some fun with the writing today. On my daily walk into town I thought about some of the story ideas I’ve had for a while, and a brand new shiny one for an AFO challenge. The ideas were buzzing and I was excited.
When I came to write it, it was a different story. OK, lovers of irony prepare for a feast. My story, my brand new, I’m so excited to be getting inspired again, story is called ‘Turd’.
That’s right ‘TURD’
And what had seemed so clever and funny when I had the germ of non-specific idea in my head on the way back from lunch, turned out to be disappointed when I simply tried to ‘get it down’. It did in fact just lie there on the screen like a…
Well you get the idea.
Still I’m writing and that can’t be all bad.
(*explanation of the title: back when I was a student, I was also something of a charismatic evangelical Christian, as was my friend Alan. Alan and I had a practice of thinking up a random Bible reference, and looking it up to see if it was profoundly speaking to us. This was semi-tongue-in-cheek. Tongue-in-cheek because it almost never produced anything sensible. Semi- because if it ever had come up with something profound I think we’d both have claimed it was God speaking.
Anyway, one time it did work, sort of.
I can’t remember the reference and I can’t be bothered to look it up, but it was from one of the minor prophets and it said something like ‘The revelation awaits the appointed time, wait for it and it will surely come’.
This sounded suitably profound but was a bit non-specific. Alan took it to mean that we should stay up until 2am at which point one of us would have a revelation of some kind. We tried this. We had a laugh, a good chat. I don’t recall any revelation.)