06 February 2012

10,000 words - a writing post from a former perfectionist

Hello there chicks,

It has been some time since my last post.  I apologise.  I started my Little travel blogs a wee while back with the full intent of posting super regularly, and then realised my small chicco had much more important finger painting, play-dough biscuit making, running around kind of jobs for us to share and any sign of a computer being open meant extensive searches on You Tube for helicopters in flight.  Or Aeroplanes.  The independent play times were simply not happening for a few months there.  In-between times I have been wiping the numerous coldy noses, propping beds for coughs, cooking a variety of delicious small and large boy foods, and doing a variety of other running around busy-mother sort of tasks.

So, a divine little chico and I have been spending gorgeous days playing, and that present moment time is so beautiful.  I have had our very creative nanny coming once a week for 3 hours to do a variety of super messy and amusing things with small boys,  while I totter off to a local cafe, Cake to finally commit to writing my book.

It's only been on the burner for ....YEARS.  I had a complete idea for a plot in Mallorca when Noah was about 9 weeks old and amidst the extraordinary excitement of the culmination of years of short stories, poetry, started fiction tales came the slow understanding that perhaps I had not chosen the best time to start writing a book.  Amazing how that kind of thinking can make you wake up a long way down the track and have achieved nothing of what got you buzzing with excitement at that moment.   I've always been my own worst enemy - jumping back and forth to correct as I write, never really getting very far.   The perfectionist in me.

The kick was my husband telling me he heard me say " I can't write because...." and he pointed out the negativity in that statement and gently nudged that I could actually - in all those evenings generally spent, prostrate in the blue glow of the tv,  online shopping, or doing other random jobs most practiced by procrastinating the fluff from behind the bookshelf, folding washing, sorting the tea-towel drawer....  He was right.

So I jumped online and ordered a book I had seen a few days before on NaNoWriMo - a site my friend Arabella told me about - dedicated to the National Novel Writing Month.   A book written by the organiser, Chris Baty No Plot, No Problem enthuses that it is possible to write a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days.  Yikes.

I read the first chapters of this book with great excitement.... and promptly realised I was horrified by the prospect of having to sit, each day and write an average of 1500 - 2000 words.... Quantity over Quality.  But it did open my eyes  to the fact that the only way to get the words down, is to go forward, forward, forward.  Not a single backwards step allowed.  Telling that internal critic to go and have her cup of tea in the garage.

And that, folks, is it.  The pivotal thing that got me to start.  And having sat for three mornings and written an average of 3 - 4000 words a sitting - I have reached the grand total of 10,000 words on my novel.  It is BEYOND exciting.

And the fact I know I can do it every time I sit down to do it, simply by not looking back.   No matter how uninspired I feel or how much is going on in my world when I close the door and head out into the icy Greek day.   That the writing will just flow for as long as I care to sit at the page.  That's another bit of advice I remember - the first step is to 'turn up at the page'.

It is SO exciting.  And likely something I can continue to blog about because it's actually happening.  Unlike card making, travelling or recalling amusing tales from former travels.   One day I shall make cards again I know.  But for now, I'm a writer.

And it's about time.

Bookie-bird, in Voula, Greece.


Sheena said...

Wow x 3 - is there no end to your talents! Good for you! Sheena xx

Lynsey said...

What an exciting post! Love the photo, good luck with it all!
Hugs Lynsey x

Arabella said...

How exciting BB! That's fabulous news!


RiNNE said...

Congrats on your journey!