Sunday, 9 February 2014

Top 10 Signs That The Writing's Not Going Well

So here I am deep in the writing-cave.

Thanks for joining me -- pull up a rock. Do you like the decor? I suppose you'd call it 'Early Gothic', with those iron candle sconces everywhere. Maybe with a splash of 'I Dream of Jeannie' -- you've gotta have at least one comfy cushion, right? Even if the candle wax keeps dripping on it. (And I would totally let you use my cushion for that rock of yours, except that I've got a sore bum from sitting down for so long. Sorry 'bout that.)

You'll be glad to know that my time here has been productive: the new novel is marching ever onward, and the light at the end of the tunnel is nigh. In fact, if the writing-gods are kind, I should have a (very) rough first draft in place in a matter of days. Yes, I said DAYS! WOOHOO!

And that's not all. Over the past month or so in the cave, I've also been compiling a rather comprehensive list of what happens when the writing is NOT going well. Because, you know...swings 'n' roundabouts 'n' stuff.

But hey, there's no reason why my head-bang-wall moments shouldn't be shared for your blog-reading amusement, is there? Of course not!

So here you are:

The Top Ten Signs that the Writing is Not Going Well

1. You have a sudden and irresistible need to go tweeze your eyebrows. You cannot keep writing with those unruly things lurking on your brow for another instant.

2. You become fascinated by the concept of dust motes. Could they be tiny universes? Worlds within worlds drifting past?

3. That reminds you: your work space is dusty. How can you possibly write with all that dust everywhere?

4. Oh look -- here's a funny video of a cat barking on YouTube.

5. You spend an hour perfecting the fine art of making mouth-popping noises like Donkey.

6. You go to Cafe Nero to write, where you drink too many cappuccinos and look for vintage dresses on eBay.

7. You check on your pet spider, the one whose web you allowed to stay on your windowsill. You watch him for a very long time.

8. You rearrange all the icons on your Smartphone, then put them back again.

9. You stare at all the books by other authors on your shelves and occasionally flip through one at random and cry a little. 

10. You become distracted by writing 'Top 10' lists.

Thanks so much for joining me here in the cave -- it was great to have some company! But you know what? I think I'll have to ask you to leave now. Because I've finally worked out that tricky scene right near the end and I can hardly wait to dive back into it. *rubs hands together with glee*

(Do you have any signs of your own for when the writing's not going well? Leave a comment and let me know!)


  1. Right now I'm writing - If writing involves renaming every file on my laptop so that they look pretty and alphabetical.

  2. Oh yes - it's not going well when I get distracted by #realjob stuff, like power points about the eight times table, or worksheets about African food. But when it is going well I . . . no, I still get distracted by power points and work sheets! Hopefully we'll have a very-not-rough draft of the sequel to my book finished by the end of February. Hopefully!

    1. Oh dear! Power points don't sound like a very fun distraction (not that Donkey mouth-popping noises are either, I suppose...!) Good luck!

  3. Amazing. My list looks exactly like yours!

  4. Hubby came home from work once and found me on my hands and knees in the kitchen. 'What on earth are you doing?' he asked. 'Cleaning the skirting board.' 'Oh, isn't the writing going well then?'

    1. Ha! They know us well. (I often think spouses of writers deserve a special prize...!)

  5. I have a list too @ or @anagramofland on twitter and follow the link think you may see some similarities

  6. Two words: internet shopping. Also - a very clean house is a sign that the Muse is being uncooperative. Especially if the taps are shiny

    1. I do not have shiny taps! *happy dance* Also, I hear you on the internet shopping. Like you wouldn't believe. ;)

  7. I still maintain that procrastination is the writer's mind giving it space to work on the novel subconsciously!!