Friday, 7 January 2011

Recharging the Batteries


Started back at my WIP this week after a fortnight's break over the holidays. I think that's the longest break I've ever taken in - how long would it be? Three years? It felt a bit odd but I wanted to see what difference - if any - it made.

One thing I noticed was a certain nervousness as the time to restart approached. When I'm in the middle of writing a first draft I don't look back at it, I just press on to the finish. But having to pick up the threads again I knew I'd have to reread some of it, and that was making me anxious. What if it was awful? Before Christmas I was feeling a bit burned out and jaded with the story anyway. You know the stage you reach when you're questioning the validity of everything from the original premise to the colour of the protagonist's underwear? So I opened the file with trepidation. What if, on second glance, it really was a pile of doggy do?

But I'm delighted to report I didn't think that at all, in fact quite the reverse. It was better than I remember! Sorry if that sounds smug but to be honest it's more of a relief than anything. Once I got started again I've been rattling the keyboard like the house is burning down. I really feel recharged and full of new ideas, so the break has certainly worked. Must go and get back to it now. Toodle -ooo!

4 comments:

Anthony Cowin said...

I often find that the stories you think are not working are some of the best work when you revisit them later on.

When I'm having that crash of confidence and feel like every word I write and every idea I have are useless I walk away from the project.

It's like having a heated argument. You need distance and space to find balance to address the situation with a clear mind.

Fiona Faith Maddock said...

I took an evening class in writing last term. The tutor gave a great deal of encouragement and advice. He told us students about the 'critical crisis' which is exactly what you guys have described. I get it too. My WIP has landed within a whisker of the WPB/delete key on a number of occasions. Our tutor said not to worry too much. Every writer suffers from it. Have a drink, or alternatively a very large drink, and just push on.

Sandra Patterson said...

It's true, Tony. Perspective is everything, but it's easy to lose it when you're working away.

The very large drink sounds a good tactic, Fiona. :-)

Kate said...

It's great when you actually like what you wrote, isn't it? I'm working on a novel I haven't really looked at for a few years and I'm finding all sorts of good things, but also a LOT of bad habits that I couldn't see back then. Time clears your writer's vision I think.

Good luck with the rest of it.