Writer’s Block

Chick Lit

It’s amazing how the act of trying to think up a brilliant idea can bring on Writer’s Block. Normally I don’t suffer from anything like writer’s blankness, only writer’s fatigue. You know, when even you are a bit sick of your characters and the woes that continually befall them.

I’ve never opened my laptop on a writing day and failed to write five hundred words, even if the quality of said words means they’ll be on the cutting room floor at some point in the future. (Or not, as is too often the case. I’m a terrible editor.) Today, though, after finally locating dry wellies for the children and packing them off to nursery, grateful to finally be writing after missing Monday due to the bank holiday, I came up against the wall of the blank word document.

I was sat in a car park, waiting for someone I was due to have a meeting with, and I tried to at least freewrite about my surroundings. Describe the wind through the trees or the wall surrounding the car park. I managed a painful two hundred words before giving up in disgust.

The thing is, I know the cause. It comes from my desire to enter the Bridport prize.

Suddenly I’m back to the person I was four years ago, before I discovered freewriting with the OU, before I was introduced to Nanowrimo, before I was given permission to just write, without peering over my own shoulder critiquing every word that appears on the page. Because, of course, just writing isn’t going to be enough for a Bridport entry. It needs to be a moving or clever story with compelling characters and amazing momentum. The kind of story that lingers long after you’ve finished it, that hovers round your mind and raises new thoughts, new questions.

I don’t even know where to start.

Chick Lit, now, that’s easy. It’s genre writing; there’s always somewhere to start. But coming up with something original, something unique enough to get through round after round of vetting? I’ve as much chance learning how to fly. I’m not even sure I can write good chick lit because I’ve only sent my novel to one agent so far, and I know that my synopsis doesn’t do the novel justice.

I think it is time to focus, stop faffing, concentrate on what I can do, and put dreams of £5000 prize funds and fame and glory away for another year.

Besides I have a synopsis to write.

5 thoughts on “Writer’s Block

    • I guess it is funny what we think of as a blessing or a curse. I can see that having a mind swirling with ideas and not having the time to write them all down could drive you slowly crazy. On the other hand, my mind is so empty of ideas I feel a fraud trying to be a writer at all. Now my dreams, they’re where it’s all at. If I could just remember them for more than thirty seconds, so I could write some of it down, I could pen a dozen Bridport entries.

  1. Daydreams, nightdreams, any dreams, I still need to remember to bring my notebook with me wherever I go. So much going on up in the old brain, holding onto an idea for more than thirty seconds is a real challenge.

    • I can definitely relate to this Jim. My problem then is remembering which of my notebooks I wrote it in (I have various ones as I never remember to bring one with me so I dot them around, in the car, in the baby-bag, in my handbag!) I try now to type ideas as text messages in my phone, because that rarely leaves my side!

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