After an eighteen month sabbatical from my book writing due to degree deadlines and coursework, I sat down with my second manuscript, all of my familiar characters and places, fingers one the keys and… completely forgotten what I was going to write next.
While I was writing my first book, I was also looking for advice online and in books to help develop my craft further. One of the main gems of wisdom was to write every day. Make sure that you do not take a lot of time between writing sessions to ensure that it flows well and you can keep your mind on the story. But then I started my degree in English literature and language, and this had to take centre stage in my mind.
So, I will admit that I procrastinated a bit, I read through the story and edited some parts in a bid to try and get back into it, but I just could not get it. This showed up one of the main problems of being a writer – Trying to make it perfect first time.
This was a problem I had writing my first book. I did not feel that I wanted to have to go through deleting and re-writing virtually all of it. I loved the ideas that I put into my books, and it seemed like sacrilege to take a lot out. But eventually I came around to the idea that this was a necessary evil, mostly due to plot holes and clichés. Based on this, I tried a technique that felt rather alien to me: Just write. Even if it is a load of rubbish, just write. It’s not going to be perfect first time, so just start getting more words down on the page and let the flow start again.
This was one place where working on my degree assignments helped. There have been times where I just didn’t want to work. It had been a hard day at work, and I just wanted to rest. But the looming deadlines and the worry of working right up until the very last minute is not something that sits well with me. So I did just that. I forced myself to write, knowing that it was not going to be my best, but lo and behold – it worked! I am now back in the game and loving it. So to all of you budding writers out there who are having problems getting into your projects, just write. Even if it is complete crap. It doesn’t matter; you can and will always fix it later.