Why is it so hard to write?
I’ve been asking myself this question for a long time. Years, in fact. I get a sudden burst of energy, complete something and ride high on the achievement for weeks. It doesn’t have to win any competition, and no one (except long-suffering close friends) need to read it, it’s just a feeling of joy – and ‘joy’ really is the right word. Writing can make me incredibly happy. And so, why am I failing to write everyday? If this is the euphoria provided by a few pages, why not keep it up? This is the lecture I’m giving myself most of everyday. I’m obsessed by writing and stories, but do little of it. Is it confidence? The minute you tell someone you’re writing, they tell you the story of the person they met at the bus stop who was on the way to their friend’s book launch. They wrote it in a few months, on a whim, and now have a five book deal and option agreements coming in from hollywood. You smile, and utter something along the lines of ‘That’s great’, whilst hoping they don’t offer to read the paltry few pages which is all you’ve managed to complete in months. So is it fear of failing? That same fear which provokes students to pretend they haven’t revised for an exam, just in case it goes wrong. If it is, I need to give myself permission to write and fail everyday. I need to write for the enjoyment of playing with stories, characters and exploring ideas. I need to get words on a page, just for the sake it. Just for fun.
Of course, there’s the slight problem of time. I had three children in less than four years and so time isn’t something of which I have a huge amount, or even a tiny amount. I also work in script development, on other people’s scripts and wish I was as good at listening to my own advice. Anything I’ve completed has been through getting up at 0530 to cram in 20 – 30 mins of thinking space before everyone wakes up and the household descends into lovable chaos. It proved a little unsustainable, so I need to rethink the time strategy. Over two years have blurred past since the youngest was born, and i’m still here looking for those precious few minutes. Maybe it’s time to send the children out in clothing that’s not been ironed (or washed) and put us on a beans on toast menu, using paper plates, to free up more time. Leave them to do their homework by themselves and no more playdates or trips to the park. OR maybe, life will just carry on as it always has, since it’s those life experiences that makes me the person I am with this mind, imagination and memory. So, I suppose it’s not time to stop doing the school run, it’s just time to see it as research… Hmmm, my little notebook of ideas is filling up. Let’s see how the next few months go…no pressure.