This was supposed to be a Writing Weekend. It was meant to be one of those wonderful weekends when two whole days are lost completely to working on my novel, ignoring anything and all around me - just me, my Ipod and my book.
After a week spent in a cabin with no noise, no neighbours and no Sky TV, I was off and running, flying through the editing process and feeling pretty good about myself. I was smugly checking the word count at the end of each chapter and revelling in the hundreds of superfluous words that I’d successfully excised, congratulating myself on finally having broken through my editing horrors.
So at ease with my progress was I that I happily allowed myself a little break last night to do some reading, watch a couple of episodes of The West Wing and prepare myself for The Big Writing Weekend.
Where did it all go wrong?!
It happened sometime between 8.30am and 10am this morning. The fact that these are not hours I usually experience on a Saturday morning may have been a factor – any other Saturday I would be grieved to be woken before 11am. This however, was no ordinary weekend. The Big Writing Weekend called for an early start, and much to the genuine shock of everyone else in the household an early start I had.
I started off simple – making some notes. Easy, right? Em, not really, as it turns out. Trying to organise my thoughts and ideas on a page seemed harder than leaving bed before noon on a Saturday.
Then I turned to the book itself, and after reading the first couple of chapters I discovered a rather worrying truth – I have no talent.
In true melodramatic fashion I announced to my husband that I was retiring from my short (and, ahem, non-existent) career as a writer, citing lack of talent and imminent torching of my manuscript as mitigating factors.
My husband is mercifully rather more sensible than I am, and took this for what it turned out to be – a petulant fit of self-doubt and a symptom of advice and information overload. The book has not been set alight (though the shredder was a serious contender for a while there, too) and I will shortly be resuming the editing process at an hour more suited to my serious lack of patience.
I think too much. This, I know. Too often I find the writing process hampered by my being three or four chapters ahead of the one I’m actually working on, and every time I come across another piece of invaluable advice I immediately start to worry about how I can make it work in my story, and then worry some more that I can’t make it work, and then I have a tantrum. Someone please tell me I’m not the only one…
So, now I have that off my chest it’s time for The Big Writing Saturday Night. Music please…