Why I don’t write #5: Because I didn’t write yesterday

I really should even have to go into the obvious nature of this one. I think it’s maybe one of the by-products of reading a lot bout habits and how to be active and successful, The importance of forming good habits – doing things every day at the same time every day, having cues to help you get on with whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. But in my case, that nagging voice has turned this into: “So, you didn’t write yesterday? FAIL! Why bother today!” Obviously, this is ridiculous. It wouldn’t apply to any other section of my …

Why I don’t write #3: Because I’m no good.

It’s so difficult to objectively assess the quality of your own work. Is being an English teacher a help or a hindrance? When the day is spent surrounded by some of the best n literature that the English language has to offer, and when you’re spending the day exploring, other people’s writing, sometimes it perhaps isn’t as helpful as it might be. Assessing your own work is hard: it’s why so many people recommend leaving a gap between writing and editing, to help you see the flaw and mistakes, and give a clearer view of the value that’s there too …

Why I don’t write #2: Lack of stamina

Sitting down to write something, some fictional glimmer that’s struck me that day or been sitting with me for days, weeks, occasionally months, and I find it difficult to get beyond a few pages. Then I give up. Because obviously, when I think about great writers and their work that makes me want to cry with inadequacy,, in my head they wander to their garden office (on the wishlist) with their morning cup of tea, and write furiously, all day long. They produce beautiful sentences which grow and change into glorious paragraphs, tense and exciting chapters, until finally, a finished …

Why I don’t write #1: Lack of ideas

I’ve been thinking about this series for a while, realising that post-wedding, post-new term, I still am not writing and a series of goal dates flash past while the page stays empty. I have lots of reasons and excuses in my head. But even as I started to type the title, my fingers pause on the colon: I don’t know what to write. I have ideas. I have ideas on the pages of notebooks that line two study shelves and that are in my desk tidy, on a post-it note in the back of my school planner, on word documents …

Sometimes the story isn’t where you think

Thought-provoking as ever, Emma Darwin’s latest post explores what happens when the story you’re writing turns out to be something else entirely. There’s a great quote from Harper Lee which also explores something I often struggle with: Sometimes you have to write quite a lot of something, to discover that that’s not where these characters’ real story is… With the story I’m trying to write at the moment, about replacing people who die, I’ve started several times. Each time is more developed, and I have more understanding of the main character – but what if the main character isn’t? Part …

Writing diary – day 15

Trying to juggle home, writing and work life is a tricky thing – despite all the goal setting, the trying to find your ideal writing time and so n, the honest truth is: it’s just plain hard. This week, for example, is a fairly average week but I’ve still only managed to actually sit down and write for an hour and  a half, today. There’s lots of reasons why – there’s all sorts of other claims on my time, and other things take priority in some cases because there are actual real-life consequences for not getting them done. Whereas the …