When the words don’t come

My writing companion, Rocket.

My writing companion, Rocket.

I suffer terribly from writers block. With each passing book it has got worse.

I used to think it was because I didn’t have time to write, to immerse myself in the book and live the characters. I would write in snatches and there would be days that I could write really well and lots of words would just appear, but then I’d get busy on the farm and I wouldn’t write for a while and I’d lose my train of thought and be back where I started.

During the writing of Emerald Pool, I have had all the time I’ve needed… And I still have writers block.

To be fair to myself, I have had some huge personal upheavals over the last few months, which hasn’t really let me get my head into the book and stay there.

Rachael Treasure told me once you need to have bum glue to be a writer. She is very right.

It’s too easy to think I need to check Facebook or Twitter, when I should be writing. It’s too easy to go and throw on a load of washing and justify what I’m doing. After all the kids really should have clean clothes to go to school with. And decent meals… Which I find myself cooking at 2 in the afternoon, when I should be writing.

It’s much easier to make phone calls that I’ve been putting off for months than to sit still and write.

You know it’s funny. When I wrote Red Dust, I spent hours writing sentences in my head – rearranging the words and knowing what I was going to write and the words just rushed out of me. I haven’t done that for a long time.

So let me tell you the life of an author isn’t that easy.  I’m not swanning about just throwing words down willy nilly… I wish.  I’m not drinking loads of wine to help the words flow (ah, but that’s an idea…) and I’m not screaming and tearing my hair out… Much.

Actually, yes I am.

What all this is about is writing through this horrible period and knowing that when I come out the other side the words will start to flow again. Staying at the computer when all I want to do is run away screaming. Forcing my fingers to type something, even it is complete rubbish. It can all be fixed in the edit.

So, stay with me while I write another 80,000 words in four weeks. I’m probably going to need your encouragement.

To make my deadline I need to write 20,000 a week, which works out to be about 2,857 words a day. Not that I’m counting.

I’d really like to write more than that, but today after managing 2,045 in about three hours (not very good) I’m not making promises to myself I can’t keep.

Rocket will keep me company but he isn’t that good and growling and pulling me back to the computer when I try and escape!



Comments 3

  1. As an aspiring and yet to be published author I’m struggling with taking the time out of my day to write. The voices in my head fight with each other ‘You should be doing the things that earn you money’ and ‘You’ll never get published if you don’t write’. Both true! lol

  2. If anybody can do it, you can Fleur. Come on, 2857 words is not that many.
    Head down, bum up and think of the joy at the end of each day.

  3. Hi Fleur, I am wondering if you have named your two girls yet? If you have then you have had great progress with that. Look at writing like telling the story in your head because the stories you have told me through your books are a pleasure to read. I have enjoyed them all. Do not look at the amount of words you have to write each day look at the story you are trying to tell. form each chapter as if it is the whole book. Bringing each chapter into it together. I hope this helps as you have helped me with out knowing about it. Cheers Val.

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