Egotism

IWSG: Returning to my Vomit

This is an entry for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, a way for writers to discuss their writing anxieties. It cross-posts on each others’ blogs on the first Wednesday of each month.

A popular piece of writing advice is that ‘a writer should no more return to their writing than a dog should return to their vomit’.* While I agree with the intent behind this – that a writer should keep moving forward rather than correcting what they’ve already written – I think that it’s a simplistic philosophy.

Firstly, the bit I agree with. I’m an obsessive perfectionist when it comes to writing. I can get wrapped up in a single, relatively unimportant part of what I’ve written, wondering if I did enough to paint a picture of the scene; narrator’s ignorance is too subtle for a joke to work, and if it’d be believable if it were less subtle. I think that often it is better to leave this kind of uncertainty behind, carry on writing, and come back with fresh eyes.

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Egotism

IWSG: The Problem of Consistency

This is an entry for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, a way for writers to discuss their writing anxieties. It cross-posts on each others’ blogs on the first Wednesday of each month.

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge 2016

One of the biggest problems I have as a writer is writing steadily and consistently. Looking back through my blog there is plentiful evidence of this – I have often gone months without posting, and my posts seem to cluster around a few weeks of activity at a time.

Most writers will have felt the instinct to wait for inspiration to strike, to write when the ideas are flowing most readily. But sometimes ideas have to be wrung forcefully from our minds, so that there is at least a terrible first draft when inspiration does strike – a rough skeleton that a better version can be superimposed on top of.

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Egotism

Finding the Time

I’ve never been a prolific writer, either when writing fiction or non-fiction. But I’ve (relatively) recently completed a three thousand word short story from scratch over a few days. I also wrote seven articles for Squawka over the Christmas period, one of which I wrote late in an evening after losing a family board game. But that prolific spell isn’t normal for me – in fact, I wrote most of this blog entry five weeks ago, and only got round to finishing this week.

I find writing easier when I’m relaxed and happy… and possibly being a little drunk helps as well. Just the other day I read that a fellow blogger, Cate Morgan, does some of her daily writing preparation during her lunch hour. That’s certainly not something I could do, as I’ve always tended to be either slightly stressed or surprised that I’m not stressed during my work day, and I couldn’t squeeze my time in that manner. Continue reading “Finding the Time”

Egotism

How Can You Miss Me If I Don’t Go Away?

This is my entry for the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group – a monthly opportunity for aspiring writers to have a whinge about the roadblocks we’ve came across while developing as a writer, and to offer each other support and advice. Click here for a full list of participants and to sign up. Unless you don’t want to, of course – no-one’s going to force you. Probably.

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Egotism

The Importance of Reflection

You wouldn’t be able to shave without it, for a start.

Okay, as the ‘theme’ of this blog is writing in general and the things I’ve written myself, it’s fairly obvious that this post isn’t going to be about literal mirrors.

I’m currently a few months into a university course, doing English Studies with Creative Writing. Two of the exercises I’ve been doing are to keep a ‘writer’s diary’ detailing how I’ve come up with ideas, and a piece of ‘reflective writing’ looking back at my process of writing a short story, the obstacles I’ve come up against and overcome.

Over the past five years I’ve been keeping a variety of notebooks – literal and electronic – about the half-formed ideas I’ve had over the years. But I’ve never really given that much thought to my ways of working. But recently I’ve given more thought to what works best for me – learning by trial and error, and from what other, more successful writers have said about their methods.

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Egotism

What I’ve Been Up To

This is a post I’ve been planning to write for a few weeks, and, as the previous blog post probably makes clear, my intent was to write it before that post went up. (A brief bit of advice from experience, saving a post as a draft makes more sense than scheduling it in that situation.)
I only wrote 3 blog posts in October, the lowest total since July 2012, and didn’t write a Lower League Week for I think around 7 weeks. There’ve also been a series of other things I’ve been planning to write for the blog that have been delayed.

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Up To”