Posted by: Natalie | April 20, 2010

Empty Headed

On an average day when I wake, I have ideas brewing in my head. I usually have something that I can use to start writing, something to blog about. But on occasions I wake up without inspiration. This is one of these days. And as much as there are thoughts and feelings I know I could write about and books and projects I could share with you, none of them are striking me today. My head feels a little empty.

This worries me, only a little, because my week has filled up. I am teaching two half days and ending with a full days supply on Friday. I look forward to my random days in school because it keeps me in touch with the real world. It is all too easy to forget that life is not so insular and that an existence I once had still ticks along without me. It is also a bonus having an extra day and a half this week as it will top up the Vegas fund! But it does mean that my focus will be lost almost entirely at the back end of this week. This is added to with the potential Dad visit at the end of next week.

So, maybe my empty headedness has been prompted by putting pressure on myself again. I know full well that the quality / quantity of work I am going to be able to put in over the next two weeks is not as I would like it. But maybe that’s not a bad thing. I had worked so hard on maintaining a schedule that it had become almost a yoke around my neck. I had drummed into myself that I HAD to write a certain amount each day. The result? Not a good one. On reviewing the re-write I realised it was appalling. Anyone I have asked to read the opening chapters, discard these pages immediately!!! They are no where near fit for human consumption!

So, I know I need to relax the self imposed rules a little and take a little more care over my sentence structure and clarify the point I am actually trying to make. Maybe I need my head to be a little empty now and again so that I can read my words with colder eyes. I know the story I want to tell and I know how I want the characters to be perceived, but closeness leads to error – oh, isn’t that a statement for life! Being in this guise might mean that I can see the pages as a stranger, agent or editor might see them. I might be able to be more critical – in a useful way as opposed to my standard self-deprecation that is so infuriating. I might even be able to make the chapters readable!! You never know!

I think I might start my day a little differently. I think I might go into town and sit in the kids section of Waterstone’s for a little while and thumb through some 9-12 fiction that is yet unknown to me. I might have a flick through some pages and catch back up with what is inspiring real authors with real publishing deals. I refuse to bend from what I believe has potential to be a strong story, but I need to keep in touch with the latest releases. Much like teaching, I need to keep in touch with the real world!

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