“You think too much” my son says to me. Is that bad? Well, maybe sometimes. The main problem with much of my thinking these days is that I write continually in my head without writing it down. I write letters to friends, I write short poems when I wake up or before I go to sleep, I make notes and I write my blog posts. Then I realise that’s all very well but no one is going to be able to read them.
It is especially difficult at the moment because I have discovered that I am suffering not from Writers’ Block but Writer Resist. I am deliberately resisting writing. I have ideas; there are things I want to say, some of which have been waiting in the wings for years but none of it is appearing in black and white. I have imprisoned my writing self and I can feel it rattling the bars.
I have been writing a long time. I am bored with some kinds of writing. My reading tastes have changed. I have ideas for new kinds of writing and I want to take my time getting acquainted with them. Our writing should develop and change as we do, surely? Its not about getting comfortable with a formula.
Employment is hard to come by in the remote place where I live, so writing is beginning to feel like a bit of a luxury, too. Most people here do quite a few bits of this and that to keep afloat. I have starting making things, hoping to sell them online but it’s a slow process. These days you have to think about your profile, your brand, your logo, your prices, your packaging and so on, which takes even longer than what you are trying to create. When people used to say they didn’t have time for something, secretly I used to think, “well, you didn’t make the time” but having made time over and over, as things I have wanted to do have come along, I now find that time does run out eventually. Even if I get up early and go to bed late and pack in as much as I can, I can’t do it all. So, much of my thinking has been about time management and how I can achieve more in shorter bursts.
As I said in my last post, one of the things I have been thinking about is this blog and how I might write shorter and more regular posts and include plenty of variety without going off topic too much or losing sight of the originally intention – to offer help to new and stuck writers. I am sorry it has taken so long. It is not for lack of interest; more of a brain overload along with a couple of difficult years. I now have a plan. Let’s see how it goes. I am still hoping to continue with the fuller posts I used to make, along with reviews as I discover books that may be useful or interesting. I am going to include some affiliate marketing links going forward because it will help me put some pennies towards acquiring more books to read and review. However, I promise never to include anything that I have not genuinely read, recommend or want to share with you for a specific reason.
One thing I do write when I am short of time, or waiting for an appointment, a bus or a friend, are lists. When I was younger my friends and I used to list our top ten movies, or music tracks but you can make use of this idea with writing. Lists are fun to do and don’t have to be about likes and dislikes. They can be what you notice, what inspires you, what you have discovered about writing and so on. I keep them at the back of a book where I copy out poems I like. Such lists can be a useful way into a character or an experience, or just to stimulate thought.
Here is a task for you. Make a list of five things (or more, if you like) that you think are important in becoming a successful writer. What might these be? What are your top three? What are the most important things that are going to help get you there?
Next post: What I have discovered are the top three myths about writing.