I have no idea how to write a book and there have been many times over the past couple of months while trying to produce something vaguely readable that I have questioned the mental capacity of the judges at the ASA for giving me this mentorship. I have also written many an apology letter in my head to my lovely editor who is stuck reading my sentimental, clichÃ©d rubbish when surely she has something far more enjoyable to do.
And then, because I was procrastinating more than it is healthy for any one person to do, I came across an article about getting stuck in the creative process, about hating every single thing you have written, about wanting to find the closest shredder (although it would be a virtual shredder these days) and line your chicken coop with the strips of torn paper so the hens can crap all over the garbage you have written! So someone else has felt like me at some point. And not just one someone but a whole lot of them. They didn’t all succumb to alcoholism or drugs in true literary fashion either! Six local authors just wrote blog posts addressing what they do when they are feeling discouraged about what they are working on. Dawn Barker talks about a â€˜cycle of euphoria and despairâ€™. Emma Chapman recommends reading about how other writerâ€™s cope and Natasha Lester voices my worst enemy, that old procrastination, when I would rather clean the toilet than sit in front of the computer.
Although it is a horrible feeling that I wouldnâ€™t wish on anyone I am finding comfort in the fact that so many other writers out there have been exactly where I am now. So what I am going to do? I am going to plough on, word by word. I have added a few new inspirational quotes to the cork board in front of me. I allowed myself time off to sweep the house â€“ which Iâ€™m sure has you scratching your head in wonder but getting up and doing something active helped. And Iâ€™m going to accept that there will be ups and downs and that actually I love writing so what have I got to complain about!
Just in case you are an emerging author and you stumble across this while procrastinating about your own work â€“ have faith, read and it will get better (I hope!)