You all know, as I have gone on about it ad infinitum, that I have had a lot of marking and teaching going on and this all but stopped me from writing. It didn't, however, stop me from thinking and planning, though I hadn't actually had the time to sit down and write anything or make it into something concrete. It was just a collection of thoughts and images. This was a bit of a worry. Would I be able to be do it again? Could I still write? A good friend said to me last week, when I spoke to them about it, that writing is a bit like training to be an athlete, it is about resting and going. They were quite right. Your writing brain is like a muscle that needs to be respected, stretched and rested as necessary. Several other friends have given me a great deal of support which then encouraged me to let the denouement suddenly appear earlier in the week. (see the previous post) All from a 'what if...' moment. I had relaxed and stopped worrying which allowed it to happen.
I felt I was all set up and today was the day. The marking and teaching were done. I had the time and the mind space to have a go at writing again. I was excited but also partly terrified. I decided to take an athlete's approach and warm up. My own writer's warm up!
1. Have a long shower and let your brain wander through your story.
2. Straight afterwards splurge on to the page all those ideas and thoughts that came.
3. Go off to read some poetry....any will do, just something you enjoy. I find it helps my brain start thinking in images and stretching itself for the right word.
4. Start writing.....
It worked for me today as I managed to write the first two chapters of the new novel, which were brand new and not a bastardisation of other work. I felt empowered as I also had come up with various ideas as to how my story was going to flow and work. How were my characters going to get together? How would they be in a position to help the main character? I was lucky it all came to me and the relief is enormous.
But I also admit this may not work for you. You have to find your own writerly way but importantly have the guts to follow your instincts and if you can't manage to write every day, don't worry, the world won't come to an end and you will still be a writer.
So here is Sarah Bareilles' Once Upon Another Time for all you writers.