I have just entered two stories into the Bridport Prize, both of which are 'old'.
Writing something new just wasn't happening this week, even though I've been playing around with a particular story idea for a month or so.
I'm not sure exactly why I didn't get my act together and write it, but I reckon it could be one, if not all, of the following:
- I've been working more late shifts at work, making me less energetic in the morning (my best writing time)
- I'm pretty intrigued by this blogging thing now: keen to read around other writer's blogs, feeling my way with this one.
- I might have got overawed by this year's Bridport judge... (see previous blog)
I guess that last point could come under an umbrella term: 'Pressure'. I've had various conversations with the creative people I know about this feeling of pressure we put on ourselves, to produce and try new things, to get up in a morning and go out and write/paint/film. To push ourselves when we need to. And for the writers: to actually write.
And (perhaps not in the strictest sense) could the opposite of 'Pressure' be 'Acceptance'? Accepting when we need to stop, to let an idea 'stew'. And it's not just the idea that might need a break, but the writer/painter/filmmaker too.
Are periods of rest as important as periods of 'making'?
Does it matter what kind of 'rest' you take? And how long?
And, here's the tough one (for me at least): how do you know you actually need to leave an idea/project? How do you know you're not just lacking confidence, or worse, being lazy?