Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Time for dreaming

See this publicity and promotion stuff? It really gets in the way of writing...

As I have been moaning, I haven't written much for ages. I do actually enjoy the book publicity and the drama production work - it's so much easier in many ways, and you get to meet people and, as I've said before, use some of your other skills besides that one of being able to sit still at a desk for four hours at a stretch. Oh, and wear some of your clothes beside your jamas! And I do love acting, which I've done some of this summer. But oh, that not-writing state: there's that big hole inside you, and a kind of flatness inside your head, which you don't notice while you're busy, but as soon as you stop...

I stopped a week or so ago and found NOTHING INSIDE MY HEAD. Not a single idea, not even that sense of relish in the world around you, which soon gives rise to images and connections which turn into stories...

Would I ever write again, I wondered. (And I won't tell you quite how depressed and bad-tempered I was!)

But then of course, my empty head started working, and guess what? I remembered this: in June I went away for a weekend and something happened which made me desperately want to write a story. I got off the plane, I rushed home in the taxi, able to think of nothing else - which is how it needs to be for me to write - and all ready to begin work on it next day. But waiting on my computer were several emails about my play production, and consequently publicity jobs to get on with, and the next day there was a rehearsal, and hey presto, I was overwhelmed and there was no time to write.

And the story went right out of my head, until now...

See? Of course you need stimulation to write. But you also need the time and space to keep dreaming...

2 comments:

Vanessa G said...

But sometimes, if you grab the idea too fast, the story wriggles and slips away, or come out written in concrete.

Maybe the play production did this one a favour!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Well, it's certainly had some (unconscious) gestation!

There's truth in what you say, though: I do find that most of the 'writing' is usually done beforehand, ie before you actually get to write it down.