Friday, June 24, 2011

A blunt pencil a day keeps writer's block away

I've always wanted to write a whodunnit novel. In fact a few years ago (before children) I even wrote out some hazy novel plots and started to write the first of a series. I wrote about fifteen thousand words and could see that my cozy mystery novel was sounding very chicklit. Now I love chicklit - and a chicklit novel with a mystery bent are great reads. But what I was finding is that my 'mystery plot', wasn't really that good. I tried all sorts of different elements to give some reason for the murder. Blackmail, a secret past, jealousy, money, but everything just seemed too wishy washy. So my mystery novel has been shelved now for a number of years.

Every now and then I get an idea for a story, and sometimes I go so far as starting to write something down. However these days I find that it just doesn't happen. I think having children saps you of all creative energy. If I do get an hour to myself to be in front of the computer it's invariably spent checking emails, facebook, different websites, writing the really fast blog post........

Last week I caught up with one of my uni friends who knew about my mystery novel. She asked what had become of it. Shamefacedly I had to admit that it had gone nowhere. I think if you like to write and your writing has gone nowhere, there is a bit of shame involved. But why is that so? Maybe it's all the time invested in the project gone to waste? Anyhow I told her that the only writing that gets done these days by me is in this blog. As her eyes lit up with interest I quickly continued that I don't like to tell friends about my blog. So much better to be mysterious about it all. Well it's not really me being mysterious because I suppose my friends would have to know that I'm writing a blog in the first place! I think that when you can write a blog with some anonymity it makes for easier writing. If I knew my audience I think I would feel really hampered in my writing. But at the same time sometimes I want to just quietly and gleefully say, to many people, that I have a blog.

I remember reading somewhere where Hemingway wrote that it was better to have a dull and blunt pencil. Something to that effect anyway. To apply this sentiment to a blog, I suppose I would have to be posting at least everyday, if not multiple times throughout the day. I don't have that sort of time. And I think my writing suffers for it. The more often you can write, the easier the words enter your head, the faster my fingers fly over the keyboard or the smoother my pen flows.

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