Carla Acheson

Historical Fiction Author

It’s been a while since I hooked up with my writing self. But I can blame many factors for that, lack of inspiration, family life going up – pausing – then crashing down. Rinse and repeat.

And my general life fused within that scenario rides erratically over waves that often promise to become the sparks of so many great beginnings of a book, that I am frustrated by my lack of oomph in getting back into this writing game.

I lament. What about all my researched notes and jaw-stopping plot summaries? Untouched folders rot on my hard drive energetically written at the time with such promising synopses. Lying flat. Lying dead!

So here is that starting post all over again.

My old writing self prickles; but to write what?

I often feel I’d like to write about me. But me is not a person I particularly like, full of inconsistencies, hang-ups and cliched emotions. I spare thee dear reader by not dragging you through my mud.

And then… the very first sentence is always the hardest, (as my old online writing buddies used to say) ‘So just write down bla bla bla then get on with it.’ As all writers know, writing is not about style, intelligence or wicked story telling, its mostly about getting an ass on the chair – something down on a page and allowing yourself to feel good about it. Moving from post to post at a rate that is comfortable. Switch off the nagging internal Editor but keep the good fires burning, and RUN!

“Don’t get it right, just get it written.” – James Thurber

But looking back, how I curse the old counting of words, the hundred mile long journey to erm where exactly? The tension headaches vibrating on my pillow each night as I’d lie there endlessly worrying about prose, style, plot, adjectives, pronouns, the nit picking of ONE SINGLE WORD! Does my story look like I just ate a whole tin of alphabet soup and emptied my bowels onto the page?

And what of my characters.. are they two-dimensional? three-dimensional? Or have they as much capacity to excite the reader as a plate of broccoli. What if I just can’t pull it all off?

And I had this one random thought today. Do we write for ourselves or do we write for others? Should I edit this post to please ‘you’ or write any old how to please myself? When does self-expression turn inwards, or curl onto its back and become something else? Something that has left your mind in one raw and unaltered state, but must be cut, hacked and shaped into a form that is considered viable reading.

Isn’t that free- writing? But even now I cannot write freely as I realise that my words will start to make no sense, and begin to crash into each other then tumble off the edge of the cliff landing nowhere particularly memorable.

That makes me think about the ‘conscious’ and ‘un-conscious’ writer and how my best writing has always flowed so well unconsciously.

All I do really know for certain is that a true writer has to write (eventually). What always seems impossible and normally turns out quite terrible, (at least in first draft) is still 100% inevitable. Maybe its time to re-visit those folders.


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