Damp, Unoccupied, Unloved

14 Aug

I went into Shedward today for the first time in several days. My papers are curling at the edges and notes have come unglued from their Blu-Tak and drifted to the floor. I picked them up and placed them on my desk. Are those notes important? Will they have any relevance to future work on the novel I’ve started? Do I have any enthusiasm to get back to work on it? On any writing?
Well, I have written a couple of blog posts recently so that’s a good sign. And I looked up dates for submissions on the Mslexia website, so the bug is still in me.
My novel is ticking away in the back of my head – with every novel/story I read my mind is Hoovering up all I can learn from the style, characterisation and point of view of the author. At the moment, I’m in the middle of Dubliners by James Joyce and, while I’m enjoying each story, I’m also picking it apart and trying to absorb Joyce’s skill. I hook out certain passages or phrases or descriptions and hold my own words up against them. At the same time I’m pondering how to bring about the changes that my work-in-progress needs. None of that means I have any clue what I’m going to, though!
When economic and time pressures let me up to the surface to breathe, I need to sit down at my desk, reread the feedback on my dissertation, take some notes and then let my writer-psyche bubble up into my brain. She knows how to get this narrative going in the right direction. I believe in that. I believe that the answer already exists inside me – my biggest problem is self-doubt. Someone (who certainly knew what she was talking about) once told me that I have a fear of success. While the idea of being afraid of success makes no sense to me at all, I know she’s right so I must ignore or conquer the little voice in my ear that says ‘You’ll never finish this, who are you kidding?’ and jump into the glass half-full-camp. This would be aided and speeded up by finding a bag of cash under a bush but I’m not holding my breath on that one! It’s down to me to earn the money to buy the time at my desk so I’d better get on with it and head off back to sea. And the first thing I’ll do when I get back is give Shedward a dust and a de-cobweb (yes, again. Eight-legged fiends!) and make him a part of the family again.


Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Struggling Writers


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4 responses to “Damp, Unoccupied, Unloved

  1. John

    August 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Writing stuff is hard work, I should know I’ve never even attempted it. I think your blog writing is great so the novel will follow. Here is a link to a writer whose musings used to make me laugh when I read a daily newspaper.

    • Lorraine Gouland

      August 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

      It is hard work. What do you mean you’ve never attempted it? I’ve read your blog – that’s writing, isn’t it? I’ll check out Miles Kington, I’ve seen read him in the past. Thanks

  2. grogbox

    August 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Yes, that inner narrator that says to give up can’t be listened to. Sometimes I set one novel aside and write another before coming back to it, keeping different manuscripts alive so a novel can easily take ten years and sometimes decades and four would be pretty fast (my aim for the current one). The novel I’m just finishing is one I began in 1998, for example. They let you know when to return to them.

    • Lorraine Gouland

      August 15, 2012 at 12:07 am

      I can understand the juggling – I think you’d go bonkers otherwise. I’m currently unable to get to my desk and am very resentful about it. I need to be writing and I need to see/speak to other writers from time to time. My batteries need recharging!
      Thank you for your comment, it is reassuring to know you’re out there.


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