Wednesday, 14 April 2010

It's a marathon not a sprint!

I’ve just realised, as I sit down to write a negative blog, that my blogs so far have been about positive moments. I read a lot of books and blogs about writing. Yesterday I read two new blogs that referred to things writers do wrong. As I read the references I found myself saying, “I do that”.

Write here, Write now is Lucy v Hay’s networking and tips blog for her Bang2write Script Reading service. The blog, The Final Hundred Metres, is the blog that deflated my, previously quite effervescent, writing ego. The thing is, I hate making predictable writing mistakes. There is so much information out there about writing, so many blogs, books, articles, courses. I have no excuse for being amateurish particularly when it comes to common mistakes.

But The Final Hundred Metres has got me so sussed its scary. I absolutely, “default, just before the finish line”. I absolutely send out scripts that are “not the best they can be”. I also have a real tendency to get a script back from rejection and put it into the terminal drawer because I can’t face trying to throw myself into trying to resolve the problems. I always begin another script instead. Arguably each script gets better but that’s not the point.

Then I found myself reading Kim Revell from BBC Writers Academy blogging on BBC Writersroom about the incredible experience she’s had during the last year.

A few things she said had a little too much meaning for me,
“I thought I was a writer before I went on the Academy. I wasn't. Not really. I was playing at it. Winging it with a knack for dialogue.”

“Thinking structurally has really transformed my approach to stories. I used to always get stuck... stories that began as promising ideas all too often fizzled out, ran out of steam, lurched to a grinding halt.”

Again I have lots of stories that began with promise but ground to a halt before being consigned to one of my many crates marked “Ideas”. So pulling these two things together it means I’ve always been rubbish at beginning and finishing a project properly. Effectively I’m grinding to a halt just before the finish line.
What do I need to do about it? I need to work more, I need to think more, I need to write more and I definitely need to polish more! I need to stop getting it wrong and start getting it right.

However in an attempt to pick myself up and move on from this I want to believe that this is all to do with the old me, the pre-New Year, pre-room of my own, pre-blog me. I am a new writer who is developing new ways of working. I think I've already made the changes needed to make it to the finish line. Hopefully it's a marathon not a sprint.

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