The Journey So Far…

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I thought it was time I wrote an update about this amazing Novel Writing Journey I embarked upon at the start of the year and which spiralled into this blog.

For the past six weeks I have managed to retain a respectable weekly word count and am now up to  30,000 on the first draft.

I thought it might be tough, but had not foreseen the depths of the lows and the heights of the highs. Ironically enough, none of these were caused by the actual physical writing itself – once I sat down and wrote, the words flowed easily and quickly.

One of the highs involved finding my name long listed for the Inktears Short Story Competition! A whoop of surprise followed by yes, all the effort is worth it. For the opportunity to be able to share ones writing with others and for it to be recognised. As always I am fully aware of the fun, enjoyment and satisfaction of writing itself.

The high of finishing a chapter and realising that is good, although recognising the improvements I can make and noting down new ideas to add later.

The writing highs are a gem. When upon re-reading a particular paragraph I tingle with delight in the way that it works; perfect.

The lows are the why bother moments? These surely engulf every writer. What is the point? This is going nowhere?  Sound familiar? Of course. Most of the time I booted these thoughts out of my brain with a ‘don’t you dare come into my head and hibernate’. Most of the times these reprimands were successful. The negatives fled my head, leaving room for constructive thoughts and ideas; off I set on writing.

However, there were days – and now I realise there will be many days – when no amount of arguments or walks would ease the bad away. It was as if a physical sticky cud of earth had infested itself in my brain and commandeered it.

At first I fought. Valiantly, I tell myself. To no avail. In the end I felt as if I were under the orders of the Daleks –  ‘resistance is useless’ – and so succumbed to their control. My prison however was writing inactivity and when the house was cleaned, the car washed (yes, even in winter!) and the fish fed, I retreated for an hour or two for down time. My vice? Netflix and an episode or two of ‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘The Good Wife’. One day of such R&R was usually enough to break the bleak cycle and the next morning my fingers would be flying over the keys again.

So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud,
Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed,
Waving thy silver pinions o’er my head!

By John Keats

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8 thoughts on “The Journey So Far…

  1. Barbara says:

    Glad for your good moments Annika. Wow to be recognized among short story writers!
    Now to be recognized for long story writers. 30,000 words you say? Great job!
    By the way…..I like watching the “Good Wife” TV series too. Is that being a slacker? No way!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry about the lows – they happen to us all. Sometimes you just need a break. The highs make it all worth it – and lead to being longlisted for a short story competition. Good luck!

  3. Peter R says:

    Great news about the longlisting. It shows the people that matter like your work. Keep at it, but don’t beat yourself up about the low days.

  4. Mirja says:

    Wow! 30.000 words. And no more clues for Sherlock?
    I love reading about the highs and the lows. Funny even in the
    lows. The sticky ‘cud’ not good
    but great news about the longlisting with Inktears.
    You just go girl.

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