Grinding to a halt

Rules swarmed like wasps in my mind.

They waited, buzzing, at the places where words came from.  When a stream of words was beginning to join up, they attacked. The bit and stung and scared the words away.

I ground to a halt.

At first I didn’t realise what was stifling my writing. The flow of words was blocked, and I didn’t know what was wrong. It was quite distressing. I knew what was happening in the book, what I was suppose to be writing, so I knew it wasn’t writers’ block. And it wasn’t just the book that was affected; it was everything.

Even this baby blog was deprived of posts.

It had never happened to me before-not being able to write.

A few days ago I realised what my problem was (…is). I knew too much about what was expected of a book, and I assumed I would fail to meet, and surpass, those great expectations.

I wrote the first without difficulty because I knew nothing of the rules and requirements that it would have to follow and meet. If someone had told me that I must watch out for ‘voice’ and ‘point of view’ and ‘show don’t tell’, that I had to make sure each sentence was stellar and each word had a purpose, I would have scoffed.

‘You can’t confine writing like that,’ I would have said.

And I would have been right. You can’t. You shouldn’t try. It’s bad.

Feck the rules.

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4 thoughts on “Grinding to a halt

  1. Cheerie! says:

    So true! The other corollary is that you have to learn by experience, and if you let fear of imperfect work stop you working, you'll never get the experience you need to achieve perfection! I was so bad with this – I knew a writer had to have a blog these days, and I knew I should do it – even knew I could do it. But I was so worried that I would try – and fail miserably – that I nearly didn't try! I'm so glad I did (eventually) because now I have a blog up and running. That's it – I haven't achieved insane readership levels (I only have three readers, and I'm two of them) and it hasn't led to fame and fortune. But it hasn't failed – not yet, at any rate. I'm learning and getting better. There is something there as a starting point, something others can look at and advise me how to do better. If I'd held out for perfection, as was my first instinct, I'd have nothing now – and something is always better than nothing! "Write on!"(Plus of course, writing is so subjective – and you are your own worst critic. Everyone is. Unless you count agents, who are just unnecessarily critical because they can be. The buggers.)Good luck Ro!Tony

  2. Iti says:

    Well said Tony, as useful as the rules are they can become major hiccup when a writer tries to put his/her thoughts to words. Blogs or otherwise.I am so behind blogging myself, but it's a good discipline for writers. To be on it and to not give in to rules and expectations. Writing as you love it! xxx

  3. Imran Siddiq says:

    Hope you (Ro) and Iti are still doing well with your novels.

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