Monday, 26 April 2010

Stuck with your fiction? Don't sweat it!

I've been stuck with my fiction for some time now. During my two-month trip to Ethiopia I was focusing on learning about the country, and when I home I was busy trying to win the Fresh Blood Contest, which I did not, although it was a learning experience. So my fiction muscles have atrophied in the past few months.

Another problem is I have three different fiction projects going on at the same time. I've been fiddling with short passages of new material, spending far too long editing older stuff, and generally putting things off. Yesterday the dam finally broke and I wrote 2,500 words. This morning I got up and wrote 500 more first thing, and plan to do more later today. Now I have direction and energy.

What happened? A couple of things. First off, I finished some looming nonfiction projects and now have more time, and also I got so frustrated with not writing enough fiction that I made myself sit down and crank out pages without caring if they're perfect.

Often we as writers get too hung up on your work-in-progress and we have to let go in two ways. We have to allow ourselves not to work when other projects need to take precedence, and we have to allow ourselves to write fast and dirty if that's what it takes to get us back in the groove. So relax, fellow writers, and do what you need to do.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


Keefieboy said...

Fast and dirty is good.

Sean McLachlan said...

Reminds me of the Woody Allen film where his analyst asks him, "Do you think sex is dirty?" and he replies, "It is if you do it right."

irishoma said...

Hi Sean,
Thanks for the advice. I've been stuck finishing my YA novel book and keep turning to non-fiction projects. Now I don't feel so guilty.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.