Unproductive Day… Sort of

I haven’t done much writing of any sort for a good few weeks, partially because I’ve barely had a free evening to do anything and the days have been to warm for me to want to do anything except sit at my desk. Until yesterday when I wrote a lot of the second part of a new story I randomly found myself writing the other week! The provisional plans are that it will be in five parts and the first is fully outlined.

So, I sat there and wrote however much of the second part before heading home for the day and planning it out a bit more. But then I got stuck!

I woke up this morning (with an awful headache) hating pretty much everything that I wrote yesterday, which has not often happened to me. I’ve read other writers describing how they’ve deleted huge chunks of work, or completely re-written in a second draft, even skipping entire scenes because they’re stuck on them. I don’t work that way. I write what I feel like writing, but if I reach a sticky point, I leave it for a while – perhaps overnight – and return to it later. I don’t skip over it. And I try not to force my way through it, believing that if it’s how a scene is supposed to go – it will. If it’s not working and I can’t get any further, I’ve gone wrong a few lines back and it needs altering. The problem was that I did that with section 2 last night and it still wasn’t working!

I still write fanfiction (although a bit more infrequently these days) and a project I’m working on in one particular fandom has involved me forcing myself to write. Because of what it is, it kind of works – hopefully! But in my original writing, it doesn’t. Perhaps because the characters are so different and in fanfiction, you can rely on what others have created. With my own characters, I know them, but I have to get a reader to get to know them. Fanfiction is easier in that respect because the readers already know the characters. Characterisation can prove more difficult in fanfiction though because in an original piece, characters do what you/they want whereas in fanfiction they shouldn’t ever do what you (the writer) wants. As I was walking to the pub for lunch, however, the problems with the entire section I had written yesterday came to me clearly.

Once I knew where I had gone wrong, I know from what point I need to do a major re-write, which will involve a mass delete or possible second version of it all. Suddenly, my sullen mood has been lifted slightly as I know now what I need to do so the day of writing that was kind of wasted (most of it will be deleted) is now not quite so unproductive as I am able to learn from my mistake. I’m pretty sure that my inability to sleep last night, my headache all morning and my slightly depressive funk have all been caused by writing section 2 wrong. Odd, fascinating, weird and yet marvellous are the words I would use to describe how writing affects me so.

For example, for the past three weeks, I have been incredibly busy most evenings and on the weekends and been unable to do much writing. Okay, no writing aside from the odd poem and blog post. During the past three works, I have been overly tired and emotional. Oh, and I have a new addiction to junk food. Could it all be linked?

Does writing influence my moods? After all, moods can alter someone’s writing ability. Is it possible that if I get back to a structured routine that includes firm plans to write, that I might find myself feeling like normal once more? Although that does run the risk of less poetry.

If only I didn’t have another jam-packed weekend! No more time for writing until Monday now, Sunday at the very earliest!

~PersephoneM

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