When Writers Write

I say ‘writers’. I mean me.

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It’s the best I can hope for.

I actually met a deadline and submitted a story to a short story competition. Yay! Whoo hoo. Streamers. Party Poppers. Fireworks. Unicorns. Balloons. Kittens. Somebody buy me a grand piano. Hubby? Are you listening? Hello?

I’ve known about the comp for four months so obviously I wasted the first two waiting for an epiphany. I then stabbed about with words, snubbed ideas and then ended up adapting a writing prompt for the purpose.

When Draft 1 was ready and formulated for my Beta Readers, I still had four weeks to go! But from there I dawdled. And procrastinated. And dithered. And stabbed the occasional word. Until this week when the looming deadline kicked in.

And this is how I played it:

I sat at my computer and started fiddling with my hair. I got a hairclip. I sat back down and wrote something. A sentence. A word. I thought a bit more and then I’d go make a cup of tea. And I thought and I started fiddling with that piece of hair that. Just .Won’t. Quite. Reach. And I’d go get a bobby-pin. I then thought some more and a whole heap of words rushed out without much sense to them. And I mashed them into something remotely coherent. And my tea got cold.

My God, is this as painful as it sounds? Probably not quite. I’ve learnt to get a hairclip and a bobby-pin at the same time. And I never had an idealised vision of what it would be like to write, it’s pretty much as I thought it would be. There’s that stubborn part of me that craves perfection – not that perfection exists – I just get a sense of satisfaction from word churning.

Admittedly, last night I hit pre-fection. That part of my editing process where everything I wrote before appears better than what I’m writing now. I decided I should probably try sleeping. Which I did. And while nodding off, I restructured my story and found it was a lot less awful this morning. I knuckled down and had it submitted by 3pm.

I won’t think about it now. It’s the first short story I’ve written for an eternity and I shan’t give it another thought. I will not win this comp, I will not be a finalist. I’m OK with that.

But I submitted a story today. In my mind, that is a win.

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4 thoughts on “When Writers Write

  1. Whoop! Whoop! *Throws parade* Go, Kate! I’m so thrilled you entered that competition. Well done! I think you have the right idea – even if you don’t win anything, you’ve already won just by getting the thing written and out the door. I like to think of it that way, too.

    You’re amazing. Really, you are. I’m so very proud of you.

    • *catches bouquet* *takes a bow* *blows kisses* *realises I’m in the wrong parade* *returns bouquet*

      It’s baby steps. All writing is practise. Write. Rinse. Repeat.

      Thank you for your support – it’s immeasurable *mwah* 😉

      • You’ve said it – all writing is practise. That is so true. Even if you don’t feel it’s going well, it’s worth it.

        Am so proud! Now – when’s the next deadline? 🙂

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