Friday, 28 September 2012

The Queen of Procrastination

A horrid little word. Procrastination. Horrid, because it is negative and because I truly am the Queen when it comes to it. How I long to be unaffected by this but maybe now it's just not my time to shine. Everything is going against me -at least that's how I see it -life in general and some big changes are approaching and once again I find myself staring into the void between myself and the keyboard. No words flow. On the plus side I have ideas thrashing around in the stormy depths of my mind.

When I have my moments of panic -the ones where you think, "Right, that's it, I'll never be a writer in a million years," my inner voice takes over and it's rather calming. It tells me not to panic. It says I have plenty of time and I'll get there. Essentially it removes the pressure. Trouble is, do I believe in this voice or is it simply procrastination wearing its hooded cloak, creeping back into my psyche. I've decided to be cautious and give myself an almighty kick up the rear and a really good shake. It's so easy to sit and stare. It takes courage and motivation to pick up the pen and force the ink to flow. And flow it must, because if you don't then as a writer you'll simply wither.

One of my biggest problems is fear. Fear of failure; fear of being a bad writer; fear of having your work torn to shreds by critique partners/editors. Fear of the fact that for this novel I'm literally flying by the seat of my pants. I have no strict plan, merely a series of rough outlines. The fact is, I'm not a great planner. I have tried numerous times and it never works out. So, I decided to try a different tactic. Being a fan of screen plays (really loved writing these when I studied creative writing) I decided to plan my novel by using a series of scenes. Being a visual person has enabled me to think more clearly and see my characters and where they are going along with the action.

That's not to say I'm writing my novel as you write a screenplay -that wouldn't be the same and I would create a different effect. But, from a planning perspective I now feel more confident about where I'm headed. The end is in sight and I just need to stay on track. It sounds so easy, doesn't it? If only it were simple, but then as the old saying goes, nothing worth having is easy. For all writers and poets out there, I'm certain you will agree.

Lolita (Penguin Classics)



Recently I copied a sample of my writing into one of those online analysis tools. The result? Apparently I write like Vladimir Nabokov. Unfortunately I had never heard of him so I decided to do a bit of research. He was a Russian novelist, poet and short story writer (1899-1977).  One of his most known works was entitled, "Lolita." Having recently found a copy online I began reading the first few pages. I have to say that I fell in love with his style of prose which is rhythmic and poetic. His books are most definitely worth searching out and dusting off.  I think there's such a lot writers can learn from other writers, especially those who were prominent literary figures during the 20th Century.