Monday, 8 April 2013

Writer's Reluctance

As the name of my blog suggests, my  lifelong tendency to be secretive about my writing brings to mind Jane Austen's creaky door, which she refused to have mended because she valued its warning that people were approaching so that she could hide her writing. She also published all her books anonymously as 'A Lady', because it was considered 'too forward' to put your name to a novel if you were not already famous. Nevertheless, times have changed and being 'too forward' is part of the writer's task these days, so in a most unladylike manner I am launching in with my first blog post. I feel sure Jane would have approved. I wonder how witty, pithy and entertaining her blog would been if she had had the technology - and society's blessing - in her day?

I am suffering not so much from writer's block, at the moment, but from a certain reluctance to get down to the task. I know why it is: for over a year, I have been making some fairly sweeping changes to my novel, Unspeakable Things, as suggested by a consultant. Realising the scale of the task, I dedicated myself to spending some time every evening and every weekend on writing. I even cancelled a week-long trip so that I could take the days off work throughout the year as writing days. Writing has been enjoyable and I have relished the time spent on it and resented anything that has kept me from it. This makes it all the more noticeable that I am shuffling and time-wasting and having a 'quick look' at Facebook before getting down to work now.
   The reason is this: I am coming to the end of a long 'pass' through the novel that has taken more than a year. The overall task of rewriting is nowhere near finished, but I think a part of me has taken fright as I have rewritten the later chapters, feeling that it is nearly over, and not wanting it to end. Because once I am finished with the writing bit, which I love; I have to face the getting it out there, offering it up for scrutiny, getting knocked back bit, which I'm sure all writers dread.
   I know what the remedy is. I need to get over my reluctance and rediscover my relish for the writing process. I'll just have a quick look at Facebook and I'll be there...