Monday, 23 April 2018

Three Years On

I'm useless at waiting, so need to distract myself.

Going back to look at the first posts in this blog has reminded me how far I've come in the past three years since I reminded myself I AM a Writer and that I should just get writing again. I had been wallowing, delaying, allowing myself to be distracted, putting in the minimum effort and receiving no payback.

Three years on I'm writing regularly, sending out submissions constantly, in a writing group, applying for grants. I've finished my poetry collection, sent two books to publishers (hence the waiting) and am actually feeling like a writer again. It has boosted my confidence in myself and in my writing. 

I've had to remind myself to sit down and write, just like I have with students before. Not just that first few weeks, but over and over again the past three years. On days when I just want to crawl back into bed, after a big pile of rejections, when I want to sit on my phone in waiting rooms instead of pulling out a pen and notebook, when I have a million other things that seem more important. I need to make the time.

I try and treat it like a job where I'm required to go to my desk every week day. Weekends with all the kids home is just too difficult, but I still manage sometimes. I set myself goals: the 100 rejections, my to-do list, to finishing my collection, to bringing a section to my writing group when I attend and then rewriting it the next week. 

I still have setbacks, where I'm frustrated by so few acceptances, by the lack of inspiration, by my slow progress. I kick myself and go back to the words. Just spending time, writing without worrying about where it will lead is often enough to get me going again. 

It's been slow forward movement, but I hope that I can keep it up and soon begin to see more positive results. I'll keep pushing forward and try not to get bogged down in the waiting. 


3 comments:

  1. I have decided the same myself recently, having started the second Strathclyde course after Easter. I did nothing between the courses and I was really annoyed with myself. My tutor quoted someone as saying ‘writing is thinking, editing is writng’ (Or something like that!). I also read somewhere some writer who said that they only write when they are inspired, and they always make sure they are inspired at 9am. I liked that one!

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  2. It's so easy to let it fall down the pile of things needing done. I do like that 'inspired at 9am' saying. That's me. I rarely know what I'm going to do when I sit down, but I usually get going once I am present at the page or screen.

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    1. I know, it’s because we have so much other goddamn shit to do! But like you I need it to now be a daily priority, for my sanity if nothing else! I have found what has come out once I have just started writing quite surprising, it is definitely when my ideas happen.

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