Work of Writing 6: Excuses, Excuses

Last week I was all excited that I’d be starting my novel and writing it nanowrimo style. Well, I started it. On Wednesday I wrote two short paragraphs which added up to the grand total of half a page. Not the 20-a-day I’d intended. How did I fall at the first hurdle? I planned to write at night – seeing as I hadn’t been sleeping until three or four anyway and previous experience has taught me that night is when I find writing easiest. Then I went to the pub for ‘a’ pint. Then I thought I’d have another half – a half can’t hurt, right? but my friend bought me a whole. I was drunk. On two pints? Yes, I’m that much of a lightweight. And I ended up staying until closing. I had intended on leaving at about nine, ten at the latest, you know, after the one quick pint I was going to have, to loosen me up and help with the creativity. I got home drunk and hungry at some time after midnight. I made myself a fried-egg sandwich for dinner, watched an episode of Bob’s Burgers and settled down to write. The aforementioned two paragraphs later, J called. By the time we hung up, I was tired. Drunk logic told me to sleep – I’d make up tomorrow – everything would be fine.

On Thursday I was hungover and decided that what I needed, to write, was coffee. So I headed for Northpoint. I had sort of arranged to meet my friend there for lunch. We hadn’t specified a time – I think 12.30 – 1 was mentioned. It was 12.30. I thought that maybe she wouldn’t be there until one, in which case I’d have half an hour of coffee-fueled writing time. Of course, she was there when I went in. So, naturally I joined her. It would have been rude not to. Oh well, I thought, I could always stay for half an hour, then sneak off somewhere to write. The coffee needed time to hit me, anyway. We had a seminar at 2. We stayed until then.

After the seminar I had lunch and was then so overcome with tiredness, I decided to have a nap. I stayed in bed until about 8 when I got up to have dinner. I was supposed to go to a party that night but was still feeling pretty delicate so decided against it. It was probably lack of sleep (I hadn’t actually slept during the nap. Hadn’t really slept properly all week). Instead I wrote another four-and-a-half pages, bringing my grand total to 5.

Since then I haven’t written a word of the novel. It might be because we got our essays back on Friday. I passed but only just. The comments gave me the distinct impression that they hadn’t read my essay properly. They alluded to arguments that I hadn’t even made. I did not think the mark was fair. Despite the fact that the morning before I was worried I’d have failed it because it was that terrible. But then, I always think that right before getting an essay back and it wasn’t that terrible.

It might also be because I went to Manchester on Friday. Although, J kept telling me to write and I kept saying ‘I don’t want to’. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t be bothered or didn’t feel like it, it was more I never wanted to. I didn’t want to write, anymore. So I didn’t.

Until yesterday. You know how last week I said I had two ideas for the next assignment because I was so excited it could be a short story. Well I started thinking about the other one. And I wrote most of it. I didn’t quite finish because it was late when I started and I stopped writing at about 3am after 23 pages. 23 pages – just like that! Pretty good, right? So I’ll finish it today and type it up at some point. After that, who knows? Maybe I’ll write the novel next. It’s not the novel that was the problem, you see, it was writing in general. Well, I don’t know. I will have to write another 5,000 words for week 12 and then there’s the dissertation. And I did have two more ideas last night but they’re just silly – nothing I could hand in. Maybe I’ll write them anyway. Just for fun. Can’t hurt, can it?

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2 thoughts on “Work of Writing 6: Excuses, Excuses

  1. Can understand you pretty well because, well, aren’t we all the same? When we have to write a text we search for other “more important” things to do just out of fear of this stupid “tabula rasa” or maybe the fear we could start something really good and then can’t stop? Maybe we should start thinking and hoping that it’s just all fun and we REALLY start something really good. Then writing will be fun and we don’t have to think about excuses 😉

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