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November 16, 2015 / catherinebwrites

THE GOLDEN BUBBLE – The Process of Writing 2

MYTHS.

 

We all tell ourselves stories  about the world, stories about who we are .   Stories born from attitudes we we learned  from school, from friends and family, from the media, from the country we live in.   Some stories are true, some truish, some distorted, and some  downright wrong.   And, surprise, surprise, we all tell ourselves  untruths   They are the Myths that mess with our heads when we’re writing.

Beware! Shakespeare is looking over your shoulder to see if you’re a real writer!

MYTH 1.

If I were a real writer the words would just flow.

I blame Hollywood.   You know the scene.   The writer is alone in his – usually his – room.   He inserts a blank sheet of paper in his typewriter.   He types a title in capitals.   Underneath he types  “By” and his name.   He sits back, frowns, clutches his brow.   He paces the room and runs his hands through his hair.   He sits , types a sentence or two, acts disgusted,  tears the paper from the typewriter, crushes it into a ball and flings it into the waste-paper basket.

Time passes.

Suddenly his face lights up.   He rushes to the typewriter and writes like fury.   He doesn’t stop to eat, he takes a slug from a bottle of scotch – and  voilà, a neat stack of typed pages – the masterpiece is complete. No need for those pesky re-writes.

I wish.

And the problem is compounded by the fact that sometimes the words do flow and it feels fabulous.    It feels just like those writers you’ve heard interviewed who say,

“I’m just the instrument channelling the Universe.”

And you’re thinking ,”Wow, this is real writing!  I’m a real writer!

Except that, most of the time, it’s not  like that. Most of the time it’s slow and laborious.

Well… join the club.

The truth is:

All good writing is re-writing.  

You do get better with practice. And, as you get better, you realise that even those inspired bits need rewriting too!

This Myth affects you when:

  • Writing passages you find difficult
  • When you’re tired
  • When you want to give up altogether and get a nice job in Tesco.

Now that you know what it is, watch out for it.

  • Remind yourself: This is just the Myth messing with me.
  • Breathe: Always good thing… especially a couple of deep ones.
  • Remind yourself:   all writing is re-writing therefore I’m feel free to experiment/ play with the words.
  • Ask yourself: Do I need a break?  Pay close attention to the answer your body give you and do what it needs.

Don’t expect the myth to disappear from your head overnight,  it take time.   But once you recognise, it  starts  lose power.

More myths anon…

 

 

 

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2 Comments

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  1. Chris Dwyer / Nov 16 2015 11:49 pm

    I just thank the Lord that the typewriter disappeared by the time I was 18! I’m an edit-commando. I’d have worked my fingers down to my knuckles had I been forced to use a typewriter all the years! Love you!

    • catherinebwrites / Nov 17 2015 11:02 am

      Yes Chris the crossover from the clickety-clackker to keyboard was like being transported to the Starship Enterprise!

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