it's no secret that i am a nefariously rubbish writer. i claim to want to become a published author one day yet i never actually put that plan into action - for various reasons, i have yet to even finish a single first draft of anything in particular. nope, i haven't even finished writing my autobiography which is absolutely ridiculous considering i've had such a fulfilling and exciting life these past eighteen years...yet as someone who does love to write, i thought i'd write a list of all the things i've failed at in my writing journey: for your entertainment, for my procrastination. (wow, actually, i'm going to copyright that sentence, it's catchy, one day, it'll be the title of my autobiography. watch this space.) (no but don't, watch that space i mean, carry on reading would you? i just spent precious moments of my time rhythmically tapping at a rectangular object with raised bumps on it, please appreciate the effort that took.)
1. development: surprisingly enough, for someone that absolutely loves to plan everything (and i mean everything. who needs to waste money on wallpaper when you have to do lists covering your wall? not me) i tend not to plan and develop my novel ideas very well. after continuously seeing the same message (outline outline outline) on cait's wonderful blog i decided that enough was enough, i was going to plan my WIP. it lasted about...half an hour? i sat down, read over what i'd already written (clearly not very much if it took such a short span of time) and then started writing character lists and descriptions, a plot outline etc. it went well until i realised i had a plot hole the size of azkaban in that particular WIP, so i just pretended it didn't exist and opened the other WIP i was working on (which surprisingly went a little better, probably because it's a contemporary novel compared to the other...sci-fi..WIP (who in their right mind decides to write a sci-fi/fantasy(ish) novel when they have no clue about anything sci-fi at all), (obviously, me.)
3. memory: i should probably know all the names and ages and hair/eye colour of the characters i'm writing about yes? well. no, not really. the contemporary WIP i have festering in a word document on my laptop right now has the protagonist of an - (ok i'm actually not even joking, i can't remember, let me check) - 11 year old girl. i've only written 16,000 words but her age has changed from 10 to 12 then back to 11 and then 10 again. and i forgot the names of her two best friends three times in one writing session. which doesn't bode well, i mean if i can't remember anything about my own novel then why would anyone else? it clearly means the WIP is so boring even my own brain is having quick naps every now and then..
4. consistency: ah, good old consistency. imagine me sitting at my desk every morning for half an hour and every evening for half an hour writing a little more of my WIP(s) in between work and art and other responsibilites. ok, now imagine me not even touching either of my WIP(s) for months on end. that's the real picture. i feel like i should just binge write. every holiday or half term i should set aside a couple of hours each day and just pound at the keyboard and hope something of consequence appears on the screen..NaNoWriMo here i come?
5. perfectionism: this issue probably relates to my problem with consistency. i don't write every day, i don't even write every month. i write when i'm 'in the mood' aka 'feeling inspired to continue my WIP' aka 'only when i think what i write will be any good', which is not very often. i'm still in the rut of wanting my first draft to be bestseller worthy when it will never ever be. and i know that, i'm just still denying it.
so what have i actually not failed at? you ask with a bemused expression. 'NOTHING' i shout back at you, absolutely nothing. but i guess that's ok because the process of writing a first draft of a novel is knowing your failing but carrying on anyway? or is that just me...