Monday, 24 May 2010

the highest hopes

I had them, them highest hopes, for the hour-count of last week. I had at least one clear day with nothing too taxing planned, just the mundane stuff, the paying-the-bills-doing-the-shopping stuff. But still, just 2 little blocks were spent writing last week.

(this a 2-birds-1-stone photograph)

I worked my day job, I met with some good friends, I read a lot. If I'm not writing much but I'm reading, I feel better. I spent hardly anytime online*. That felt nice.

Last week I read pretty widely, as we writers are advised to. I read some quirky flash fiction, and some chick lit.

I don't often read chick lit, but I fancied a bit. It might be because the 2nd Sex and the City movie is coming out soon, and I know it's so not-high-brow but I'm looking forward to it. I find Carrie and co a comfort, an indulgence and good fun.

I have to say that the chick-lit I read wasn't that good, so I don't want to say what it was. But it had a prominent place in Waterstones, it was by a successful writer, and I read it in 3 days. Not a page turner, but a quick and easy going read, and I liked that about it, then when I'd finished it all I could see were flaws in the characters and that it had a really mundane plot. I've read other people's blogs when they haven't liked a book but they won't say what it was, and I always think 'Just say what it was!' but suddenly I get it: I'm not going to write a thoughtful book review, so I won't just slag it off.

I also read Not So Perfect by Nik Perring: a neat collection of 22 short short stories, in a neat square book, published by Roast. Nik writes the kind of flash fiction that I like to read and I sometimes try to write: the kind where weird shit happens but it feels normal. Where wives throw up lemurs, where a girl breathes fire on her cheating lover, where a woman made of cogs and metal and ticking sounds finds love. There is also a lot about losing love, about giving yourself and trying to make sense of such an extreme, and how we feel when we are left. You can visit Nik's blog here, and buy Not So Perfect here.

Despite the not-writing-much I feel good about writing. In the past couple of days when people have asked, "How's the writing going?" I've been honest and said I haven't written much these past few weeks. It felt good to be honest, rather than try to find things to say. It's also made me want to get to it. Feeling relaxed about it is the healthiest way. But I go through this cycle often: not writing - feeling bad - still not writing - feeling worse - loosening up - writing more. I know that's how it works, but I still do it. What a goon.

*I achieved this by getting my boyfriend to hide the internet cable when he went to work. I'm not proud that it took such a dramatic act to keep me from wasting time, but I'm glad I did it. I will do it again. I didn't do loads more writing, but I felt better.


Nik Perring said...

Ooh thanks for the mention!

And well done in the abstinence of the tinterwebs!


Sandy Shin said...

That's definitely the attitude I am trying to have toward writing, too. I try my best to make my goals, but if I'm unsuccessful, then that's okay, too. Feeling negative about it will only make writing that much more difficult.

Rachel Fenton said...

Ha - loved the hiding of the cable!

Glad you're feeling more relaxed about it - let it brew.

Cool non-reviews - looking forward to reading Mr Perring's piece of perfection some reading time of my own booked in now.

Teresa Stenson said...

You're welcome, Nik.

Sandy - I know, it's getting that balance isn't it between being focused and also being relaxed, I'm always trying to get that right.

Rachel - yes the cable hiding, a necessary measure. I had a much nicer couple of days off without thinking 'ooh I'll just check...' Enjoy your reading time.