11 December 2005

Other people's expectations

I've been furiously writing on my latest wip then came to a screaming halt. I'm trying to get my novella finished before Christmas, which was a laudable aim, but came undone by my need to fulfill other peoples expectations, not my own. This is all in my head of course, "other people" hardly register what I'm doing. But I have a bossy internal editor who tells me how I should write. I must write 1,000 words everyday, doesn't matter what else is going on and I should be submitting and publishing, NOW, NOW, NOW!. Her voice silences everything else that enables me to write.

So when I come to a plot problem or a characterisation problem, she goes into a panic because I'm not following the plan (god, I sound like Sybil here don't I?). I become paralyzed and stop writing. I think I'm finally realising that I have my own writing method, which involves a tiny amount of planning, then sitting down and writing a large chunk so I can get to know my characters and see how they react in different situations, and then do some more substantial planning. It seems an inefficient way to write a story, but I suspect is what a beginner has to go through. Get the words on the page then refine, sort, sift, discard. I read recently you have to write a million words before you know what you're doing as a writer. I have a way to go.

All this lack of writing means I've been surfing the net and reading blogs more than I should. Over at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels there's an hilarious post on terms to avoid in romance. Warning: don't click on any links in the comments unless you have access to a therapist who can provide counselling for post traumatic stress disorder. I mean it.

Mercury has gone direct, which is why I think I'm coming out of my writing dilemma. Mars goes direct today. Thank god.


At 17 December 2005 at 1:04 am , Blogger magdelena said...

I need to wash my eyes. I had to look didn't I, despite the warning.

Hope you've recovered.

The visual aside, the post is great.

A million words eh? I also have a long way to go.


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