Getting back into writing...
Getting back into writing was incredibly difficult for me. I found just sitting staring at a blinking mouse cursor was triggering lots of terrible memories. And I couldn’t concentrate. But I missed it.
I had announced to some of my friends that I was ‘giving up’ writing. At least for a few years, I had in my head a decade. Writing was becoming so detrimental to my mental health and general recovery process that I turned away from it.
I even started a new creative project, and talked and planned about how I’d talk about it online. Until someone said to me,
Have you actually tried a different approach to your writing?
My writing routine had been the same for years. I planned and wrote in the same way. Extensive planning for a few weeks usually meant I could sit at the desk and blurt out 5k-10k in a day, 36,000 words of a sequel was my record. And I was proud of that. Editing would always take me longer than the actual process of writing. And I enjoyed that.
But I have an issue with my hands, that makes holding a pen for a long time quite painful. I used to get special dispensation in exams to have extra time to rest my time in-between (not that I ever used it, as I would have to finish a paper in under 15 mins just ot get my thoughts out.) so writing longhand had never actually appealed to me.
But I found that when I did write on the computer, I could type almost as fast as I could say words in my head. So when the sentence ended, I was left with a pause. In that pause darkness would sprout.
So I asked my mum to get me a couple of A4 notebooks from Tesco's on her next trip. And on one mild day I sat outside with a pen, the Game Of Thrones soundtrack from season 6 (you know what song I mean) playing in my ears…and I wrote. And wrote.
Typing up when I was finished presented the same problem. So towards the end of the draft, I split time between writing and typing up. But I was done within the week with techniques I’ll blog about later.
But that initial switch of perspective seems to small. But it meant such a great shift in my abilities, I was actually able to write again. and write better than I had any time before. I was having to slow down, and that made strings of sentences form better, more solid.
Changing your writing routine slightly might seem a bit useless, but try it out. if it’s stupid and it works and it ain’t stupid. Of course writing so slow was frustrating at time. My fingers will only let me write at a certain speed. But I would get periods where I would want to write faster, and my handwriting would deteriorate into the footprints of a herd of chickens. But that’s okay.
I scribble, therefore I am, Scribbles.