October 22, 2012
The window cleaner is here. I have been sat at my laptop this morning continuing with my book… novel…. thing… not quite sure what to call it, anyway, Ive been sat here all morning getting my daily word count up and then the window cleaner turned up. And I felt all a bit self conscious. Do I carry on typing? Will I look a twat? Can he read what I’m typing through the window…? If so, I’m already looking a twat cos he is currently cleaning the window right next to my computer and therefore potentially reading every word of this ridiculous post.
This is the thing though isn’t it, when you have the time to start writing… you feel a bit of a fraud. Or do you? Is this how every unpublished wannabe feels? Maybe not, maybe its just me. Last week I religiously sat down in front of my laptop and, after tea, toast, twitter and facebook, I wrote around 3000 words before heading off to pick my youngest up from nursery. I did this every day, ( I know, its only one week – I’m not yet expecting a certificate). I was starting the framework of a book I hadn’t anticipated writing last week. In truth, I was going to revisit something I started last year and have put down for a while, but when I woke up last Monday morning I was so clear about a particular story I wanted to tell, I decided my poor other story was going to have to wait and I needed to get the frame work of this one down. I fear I may be doing this by the ‘story in a month’ method so shunned by most published authors over this very weekend. Still. I’m getting on with it regardless.
By the end of today, this blog permitting, I hope to have got down about 17k words at which point, I anticipate hitting a point in the story that I already know, I don’t know how to write. And I guess this is the point that will make or break me for finishing it. Can I steel myself to sit down even though I’m finding it hard? Can I put the time, effort and commitment in to finishing a part of the story that will undoubtedly get me towards the final home run in terms of word count (word counting is surprisingly addictive – I should probably stop that for now, I expect it’s a distraction that I just don’t need) and can I get a first draft done before I lose belief that its worth it? I keep telling myself that even if its crap, I have to finish it. I owe it to the characters who I am now obsessed with. I may have given myself five years to really get into this writing lark, but if I cant finish a first draft of something, how will I ever finish a final draft of anything? Ive completed shorter stories before, kids stories, I can manage a column, I can write a blog (or not, depending on your point of view… if its not, keep your point of view to yourself thank you very much – I’m of a very sensitive disposition!) but can I finish a first draft?
Hmmm. It seems the window cleaner has gone, as has my embarrassment of being caught… albeit for now. I need to pull myself together don’t I. I don’t need to feel like a fraud, or feel embarrassed about what I’m writing or even that I’m doing it at all. And I suppose, if I cant cope with him potentially looking over my shoulder whilst I type – how will I ever cope with anyone reading and god forbid, passing comment on what I’m writing… perhaps I need to get over the nervousness, and the sensitive disposition… and potentially get over myself. One window cleaner does not a total battering from a potential agent, publisher, reader make.
Ive just read this back. I think its proof that I am nicely cultivating the lack of confidence I have observed in many writers whom I admire.