Thursday, 25 August 2011

I'm Scrambled!

I'm trying to stay calm and focused. *deep breath* It's not that my mind isn't full of my characters' conversations, or that I have a block in my plotting. But sometimes too many ideas can bring you to a standstill as suddenly as writers' block can. My thoughts are like the wires tied in knots behind my desk. Computer wires are tied around the curly telephone wire, the kettle wire is getting steamy with the bt connection and the printer wire looks like it's doing a bit of heavy petting with the answer phone cable! So many points of communication, but all in one big fat stationary mess. That's the metaphor for my brain at the moment. (not the heavy petting bit....)

I write lists, I make notes, I jot down words and phrases I like, I scribble conversations and I annoy my husband by switching on the bedside lamp to record ideas which have sprung to mind during the night. I think the only thing that can help me unravel my thoughts and get this plot into some sort of order, is an Enigma machine!

Oh and don't get me started on procrastination. *goes and makes a cuppa*
Because my ideas are one big tangle at the moment, instead of trying my hand at deciphering my bouillabaisse of ideas, I write a poem or short story for my writing group. Which is great, because I'm keeping my hand in and even winning some competitions. But a book doesn't write itself and I know I'm going to have to stop saying, "I'll start Chapter 8 tomorrow/at the weekend/next Monday. (sounds a bit like my diet!)

And life! Boy, can't life get in the way of writing? The children, the house, the dogs, the shopping, the chores, work (earning some money is actually quite a good idea) the garden, nights out with friends.... Wonderful diversions, but diversions nonetheless!

Do you have any ideas to make me knuckle down? (no smart comments about tying me to a chair) How do you fit writing into your day and how do you untangle your metaphorical wires of thought? I'd seriously love to know.
Must dash, time to write.....think I'll just take the dogs for a walk.......


  1. I do identify with your musings, Ange! I often think my brain is scrambled with too many ideas and different projects, which sometimes results in less work. I also like short peices which are more immediate, and I've struggled with self-discipline for novels.

    Two things I've found: I go to the computer after my shower and dressing (take my breakfast with me) and I MUST go straight on to my novel before venturing anywhere near the Internet. Even if it's just a few hundred words, it works for me.

    The other thing that works very well is when I go for my weekly coffee to Costa in a local mall - I can get lots of writing done there with pen and paper in just half an hour. Same thing happened on a train journey. Maybe I should be writing longhand first - or maybe it's being away from the house!

  2. I am going to agree with Rosemary on writing away from the home, I also visit Costa and I'm much more productive. And to get myself there, I arrange to meet up with a writing buddy. That way, I can't not turn up, and we are both under no illusion why we are there. We get a drink, write for a while, have a break, then start again.

    I'm easily distracted, and also start writing 'other stuff' flash fiction, short stories etc and feel guilty too!

    I'm making a deal with myself for September, haven't quite hacked out the detail, but it will either be based on spending a set amount of time a day on the novel, or word count. I'm erring towards word count, as that way its more measured. This does mean something has to give elsewhere.

    In the end we've got to sit down and work out what it is, that is holding us back. I wish I had the answer for both of us!

  3. Hi Rosemary and Marie

    Great ideas, thank you. I like the idea of writing in a cafe - almost romantic! I can understand that there are no distractions, except maybe the odd customer! I also think it's a good idea to write before checking on twitter, facebook, emails, blog comments etc. It's so easy to get side-lined for an hour and then guilt kicks in because the dogs need walking or I have to get to the office!!

    But thank you for your comments. I shall certainly take your ideas on board. xx