Saturday, 13 March 2010


Here's the thing.
I think I've found a cure for writer's block. That dreaded constipatory feeling you get when the words just won't flow or even arrive. They're just stuck there - inside you and there's nothing that will budge them. In fact admitting to having WB just makes it worse, doesn't it? Like an addict finally 'fessing up to the cold hard truth. 'My name's Earl and I've got Writer's Block'. Now it's Out There. For the world to see. And whisper about behind their hands. Only they don't because a writer's life is such a solitary affair that nobody but s/he and his screen (and his online writer friends if he's lucky to have any) knows s/he has The Curse of course.
(Try saying that with a glass of Merlot inside you).
And even though I've had this Pretty Good Week and you might have noticed my word count edging towards the nice-not-naughty forty thou, I have to admit to having that niggling feeling of a slow blockage creeping through the intestines of my literary bowels (Eew...not one of my better analogies).
And I was wondering and worrying about this as I got up this morning.
So I decided to use the side of my brain that I don't normally understand how to tap into. i.e. the sensible, methodical, reasoning side. And I tried working out how it was that 'Double History' (coming to a bookshop/supermarket .... you know the rest) was written in four weeks. That was 73,000 words crashed out in four weeks, people. That's 73,000 words in 28 days which equates to about 2,600 words per day. Seven days a week. Which, okay, looks fairly do-able if you look at it like that. But it's not normal.
And the reason this was achieved, I believe, is because I kept the momentum up. It was the last four weeks of the school holidays. No work. All write. Makes me a bit of a fiend. Clearly. And this is what I need.
Along with the Agent and a bloody good deadline or two. That should sort me out.
Because if you're writing something and you have to keep breaking off to do dumb things like... oh, I don't know - go to a job which pays you to do something else, make up lunches for the family - hell, FEED the family for god's sake, spend an obscene amount of time in Sainsbury's, wash dishes, hoover, dust (actually ignore those last three... I do) then you just can't keep the momentum up.
But faced with a solid calendar of day upon day of nothing to do but write and there you have it. The perfect scenario. An ideal situation. No distractions. And a book that you totally believe in because it's with you constantly - not being sliced up with interference from the outside world.
I think I need a shed.
In Crete.
And a laptop, obviously.
And plenty of tea.
*pops over to do a bit of Cosmic Order editing*


Fionnuala Kearney said...

Even with a laptop and I bet a shed (other Debs comments please?) I'm afraid WB still strikes. I think the reason DH happened is becasue it was one of those rare blessings - something that just HAD to be written? Whaddya think? Fx

Debs Riccio said...

I think you might be right Fi - and even now( I know an agent is STILL reading it) when I dip into DH, I am entranced stupidly by my own words - isn't that a form of literary Narcissism?
Oh god, maybe I'm that one trick phoney I've heard so much about?!

Deb said...

You know, Debs and Fionnuala, I have a theory here: for some reason unknown to woman and probably something to do with Sod's Law, when we focus on something too much we have a habit of pushing it away. When we just get on with it, without stressing about it too much, we tend to get better results. I think this is what happened with DH (coming to a bookshop, supermarket...near you, very soon)
Scientific studies have shown that we also tend to attract what we want in life, be it good or bad. Keep on ordering, Kid. You will get there. xxx

Karen said...

That's exactly what it is!

Whenever I have a deadline everything else gets ignored and I get those words out - left to my own devices I can mysteriously find myself dusting the skirting boards rather than getting on with it!

Great blog :o)

Debs Riccio said...

Aha! See? Thanks Karen - I really DO believe this is the case - keeping at it. Shutting the real world out, head down - go for it!

The Pineapple Tart said...

I'll take a shed in Crete, without or without WB! I've tagged you in a photo meme, hope you don't mind...

Debs Riccio said...

Oooh no, I don't mind. I love Meme's - thanks Anne!