Carry on writing…
Writing is a fun, satisfying, mind-stretching and sometimes cathartic pursuit, but sometimes, when you get the feeling you’re not getting anywhere fast, it can be lonely and there can be moments you risk losing faith.
I ended last year on a real high. By December 2011 an independent cinematographer/director was gushing over a short film script I’d written. I’d had some useful and positive feedback about my novel from a literary critic. I was eagerly awaiting the release of Arvon course dates, hoping to secure myself a solid week’s worth of immersion time in early 2012, to finally help me finish my novel. I had also begun to meet (virtually and in reality) other creative people with whom to bounce ideas off and possibly work with in the future.
When the Arvon course date rolled around I found the most suitable one wasn’t until June; my immersion time would had to wait half a year. In January 2012 I heard the short film was to be delayed due to budgets and scheduling issues. Some of the creative people I had met started to get deals. I had that feeling of getting left behind. I also secured some contract work, which was of course great for my bank balance (and I needed it), but meant less time for writing. I was given a new brief for another short film (unpaid of course), but just could not connect with it and experienced my first ever bout of ‘writers block.’ All of a sudden the promise of 2012 being my year felt like it was dwindling.
Plough ahead regardless…
It’s nearly June now and I’m happy to report that, although I have had my down moments, I’ve managed to keep the faith and ‘carry on writing’ and even learnt a few things…
For some months I had to accept I couldn’t get much done while putting hours into the day job, so just tinkered here and there with the novel. By the time my contract ended I was bursting with some well-mulled-over ideas for new chapters.
Being a member of a book club encouraged me to keep reading widely, whilst a piano exam in April took my mind in other directions as I put time into practicing.
The creative people I had met all continued to help by providing inspiration and sometimes practical help. When I was younger I might have got jealous. These days I rarely feel that way; I appreciate the inspiration of interacting with anyone with an interest in artistic pursuits.
I also learnt the hard way, if someone asks you to write something that really isn’t ‘you’, especially if it conflicts with your principles (and you’re not even getting paid!) you should just say ‘No’ rather than anguishing over a piece of writing you’ll never be happy with.
Strangely in the last few days I’ve heard again from the cinematographer who says he’s still interested in making the film and is ‘putting it in front of a few people’. I won’t hold my breath, it’s best to keep ploughing ahead regardless.
Welcome your experiences and comments 🙂
(& a bit of Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest just for fun)