Writing, in my experience, is much like fitness. If it’s not used, the risk is that inspiration dries up and words feel clunky but worst of all, confidence goes.
Previously, I’ve tried to write something every day. It helps keep me in the story even if it’s only 100 words, but after yet another rejection, my confidence dropped to an all-time low and the crows of doubt began circling far too close for comfort.
I was in trouble. Like running through stitch, I told myself to press on, sitting at my laptop believing inspiration would come.
It didn’t. I was trying too hard and forcing it.
I gave myself time off. I gave myself permission to write rubbish which is harder than it sounds. My inner editor was chomping at the bit to have something to do. Time off, too, wasn’t easy. I even flirted with quitting. Turns out I couldn’t. The characters in my head wouldn’t shut up and their story was desperate to come out.
I have a particular predilection for stationery and so reverted to pen and paper. Something clicked. There’s nothing quite so organic as feeling the words appear. I began writing anywhere and the drip, drip feed to my story breathed new life into my writing and I’m getting back into my stride. Finally I can give voice to the characters in my head. The fact I'm indulging my stationery habit is a pleasant offshoot!
I love this quote from Anne Lamott because with every book I've written, the process has been different. So why should this one buck the trend?