I have a face like a slapped arse. I mean, I normally suffer from resting bitch face… or should that be the people around me suffer my resting bitch face, but now I can add slapped arse to the mix. Just imagine how pretty I look.
The reason? Well, I think it was Hemingway that said: There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed
This book is the first time I have really felt an affinity with that very notion. I mean, truly, this book is taking every ounce of everything I have to produce. And more. Not over a typewriter, obviously, that would be ridiculous. In fact anyone who wrote anything before the invention of a. computers and b. scrivener, frankly deserves a knighthood (political viewpoint on the Honours system aside).
Last week wasn’t too bad. I was rattling the words off pretty easily and all in all, it was coming together. I was feeling pretty happy with the world and my books place within it.
This week…? Yeah, not so much. In fact, this week resembles most of the weeks I have been working on book 3. I rattle off half sentences, moving through the story without actually writing it fully. It is like a skeleton, a ghost of a book that has a general overview but no meat to the bones. I keep telling myself to plough on, but at the same time I want to pace myself. Because to plough on might take me quickly and treacherously down a wrong road. You know, like when you end up in Scunthorpe. But to pace myself might bind me so tight I stop typing. And never make it to Kernow. The balance, as you can imagine, is fine and difficult to strike.
So how can I work through this? What I really want to do is complain a lot, about how hard it is. To literally everyone I see. And for them all to mop my brow and tell me it will all be okay. That the book is brilliant and it will all be worth the constant feeling of discomfort and fear that I am nurturing. In the pit of my stomach… unless that’s my irritable bowel. But the Northerner in me wants to slap me round the face with a kipper – wet or otherwise – and tell me to suck it up or jog the hell on. Nobody is forcing me to do this. I am not beholden to deadlines or money or expectation. Other than my own.
I haven’t got the answers to this. Except that I know I have to plough on and, fingers crossed with a fair wind, it will all be good on the other side. Eventually. Hopefully.
But there is just that tiny niggling nag that makes me wonder: am I fearful of this book because it’s no good. I mean, when I’m not in it and writing, I don’t really think that is the case. I actually think it could be great. It’s only when I open the file and start trying to type, that I struggle. And maybe that’s it. That I have the fear that I, once again, won’t do my story justice. Which would really be very annoying. Like, all consuming-ly annoying. Possibly debilitating-ly so. Dramatic. Moi?
So that’s why I have a face like a slapped arse. Which I think is marginally worse than my previously discussed incarnation as Gordon Ramsay. Yay, the neurosis has returned. Haven’t we all been just longing to see this again…