Having started writing my current book a year and a half ago, I find myself in a position where it is still not finished, and finally allow the steel wall in my head to fall down and let the looming question of ‘Why?’ rush in (“about time”, my brain informs me – it is a question I have fought to avoid answering not only people who ask, but also myself, for quite some time now).
Is it that I don’t have enough time to write?
Well, that could have once been answered as yes, however, having been signed off work for the last four months and having just undergone an operation a mere week ago (‘ouch’ is not a strong enough word!), ensuring much time to myself with little else to do (other than watch the mind-numbing, brain cell destroying spectacle that is the Jeremy Kyle show, and any other show daytime television has to offer – which is to say, very little), this can no longer be an excuse I cling onto and hold close to me like an iron shield, ready to thrust in the direction of anyone uttering those dreaded words: “So, have you finished it yet?”.
So, if not a lack of time, might it be because I dislike my story and characters, and am gripped by a sense of boredom the very moment I switch on the laptop and prepare myself to write?
This question must also be answered with a no. My story is the world I live in in my head when alone; at night, on the train, in the bath, during a walk, cooking the dinner…
I fell in love with my characters from the very moment they came alive on my little laptop screen. I view them, and the world they inhabit, as real; that I am the only person aware of their existence and am therefore the ‘chosen one’ selected to tell the world their story, their challenges and finally their victories.
(I’d like to highlight at this point, that no, I am not crazy in my belief of their existence, I merely think of them so much that they occupy and dominate more time in my head than my job, family and even my partner! I have even been known – shock, horror! – to have referred to my boyfriend with a leading characters’ name!
Okay, so maybe a little crazy.)
So, it’s not a lack of time, and it’s not a dislike for my story and those who feature in it… could it be a lack of belief in my ability to write it?
Partially. I have no qualifications to speak of, no previous experience (other than the few little stories I have written and never allowed a single living being to glimpse – so yeah, no experience), and no right to believe I have the ability to do this. Though, of the friends and family (and some unbiased readers) that have taken the time to read what has so far been written (80,000 words and eighteen chapters), I have received nothing but positive feedback and a constant stream of nagging for more chapters. So from that, I assume I must be doing something right.
Writers block? Nope. The story is constantly progressing in my mind – if not on ‘paper’.
What drives me, even with the above knowledge, and the dread of not having the ability to actually write a book, is something I read on another blog: “The only thing you’re in control of is the choice to create what stirs your soul”. “Forget about the opinion of others, first you must please yourself, before having any hope of pleasing another”.
Wise words. I have clung onto these for a while now, reminding myself that if I like it, perhaps someday, somewhere, at least one other person might.
But there isn’t a single person in the world that will have that opportunity unless I actually finish writing the bloody thing!
So now I have finally allowed the dreaded word of ‘why?’ bounce around the walls of my head for a while, I find I am in no better position than I was before.
Could it be that I am destined not to write? Or am I delaying my destiny of writing for a fear I am unable to fully determine?
Either way, I’m determined to have it finished in 2011… hopefully… maybe… we’ll see…