That’s what they say, and far be it from me to argue with the ubiquitous ‘they’. Hence I have started this blog to talk about my writing. Because when your full time job almost entirely involves writing, and when you grab random, hard-earned moments of spare time for creative writing, a blog about writing (which by definition entails writing) is exactly what you need. Ah, yeah…
I’d like to think that I’ll post regularly on this blog, but given my slow progress with my current novel, I won’t commit to anything right now. You see, I’m currently working on the Dreaded Second Draft. Otherwise known as Second Draft Purgatory, where you go through that piece of writing that you thought was a masterpiece laden with wit and brilliance when you wrote it last year, and then you discover that it is in fact a pile of shit. So what I’m doing now is not so much writing as it is deleting, re-writing and swearing incessantly.
I dream of a life of Perfect First Drafts, where the plot is always sound, the characters are always heroes (or villains, or at least believable) and the imagery is always evocative. Because I love writing – I love the feeling of words flowing from my mind to my fingers to the screen; I love the burst of adrenaline it gives me, whether I’m writing a novel or a communications plan; and I love how my characters become so real to me that I mourn them like lost friends when the story comes to an end.
By contrast, second drafts are a hard slog where you’re forced to face up to the improbable plot lines you thought you could get away with, poor character motivations and whole scenes where you tell rather than show. It’s hard, and it’s demoralising, and you have to cut sentences, or scenes, or even characters that you just KNOW are brilliant in order to save the plot.
But in the end it’s always worth it, because you become even more intimate with your story, and over time it becomes everything you’d hoped it would be when you wrote the first sentence – even if you ended up deleting that first sentence.
This blog will be about my writing joys and miseries, but it won’t be exclusively about my writing, because if it was, every entry would be something like:
‘Got up at 5am to write. Had coffee, didn’t get much done. Love Rebecca.’
So I suspect I’ll also be talking about the other things in my life, like horse riding, cooking, eating, drinking, and stuff that gives me the shits. And hopefully I won’t be spending more time crafting these posts than I do working on my novel.