ness rambles, ness talks about life, ness writes about writing

The General State of ‘Bleeerrrggghhhh’

These past few weeks I fell into a perpetual state of bleeerrrggghhhh-ness. I’d published Our Intrepid Heroine and was awaiting the proof of my new historical-non-magical-fantasy to arrive, with other factors included, I simply wasn’t able to write.

I could stare at my newest project – I stare quite admirably, though I do say so myself – but the words didn’t come.

I did write something; a handful of words in a story that dawned upon me and doesn’t have much of a plot at the moment:

“Mr Browning couldn’t have murdered Miss Redon.” The statement was said with a great deal of force.

There was a silence.

Mrs Haddington, biscuit still held daintily between pale white fingers, directed her forceful gaze at the newspaper. Or rather, at the head behind the newspaper. The tawny head of her husband slowly reemerged as the newspaper was lowered. He met his wife’s eyes reluctantly.

“My dear,” he said. “Whatever could you mean?”

“He adored Harrison’s Biscuits!” The pronouncement was quite triumphant. “And if he adored Harrison’s Biscuits then it stands to reason that he could not have committed the murder. I wonder why the police didn’t notice such an obvious fact.”

As you can see, I have a promising career as a crime writer.

Fig 1.1 Author in state of blergh-ness

But the no-good, horrid and despicably slithering state of bleeerrrggghhhh still persisted. I’m afraid that this isn’t a post about a triumphant moment of clarity or a victorious second of truth. No. This post is simply a reminder to you that the state of bleeerrrggghhhh does not persist forever and does eventually lift.

I’m not quite sure why or how it did.

Perhaps it was the fact that I popped my hair in a pony tail and looked studious with a pair of glasses perched on my nose. (One does feel so much better and more industrious with one’s mane out of the way.)  But then that wouldn’t help if you have short hair.

But, no matter, take courage and have hope – Blergh-ness doesn’t last forever.

Have a great day!

ness rambles

You Don’t Have to Own a Cat

I fled up the garden and into the pottery studio, sat on the lid of a portable toilet and consumed damsons. By the time I had finished praying, pondering and spitting the pips out, Act Three had been hashed out.

damsonsSometimes, sitting down and facing a piece of paper or a computer screen just isn’t the thing. Sometimes, grand ideas and plot points come whilst washing up. Sometimes they come when talking, singing.

Ideas don’t wait politely to be acknowledged. They leap out and present themselves to you and demand your attention.

Want to know something? All those ‘writers are …’ and ‘writers do …’ on Pinterest boards, in books, on blogs … you don’t have to ‘be’ them.

Sure, to be a writer, you have to write. It’s a fundamental truth. But to be a writer you don’t have to own a cat, drink tea, write into the wee hours, possess an ‘artistic temperament’, be wonderful at spelling or brand yourself as an introvert.

Honestly, you don’t.

You don’t have to hear your characters voices in your head or weep as you write. You don’t have to have read a thousand different ‘how to write books’. You don’t have to plan out your character’s back story in meticulous detail.

You have to write. That is all.

Sure, reading craft books can help you. Planning out elaborate characters may be your thing. And sure, you may have a rusty old typewriter, own a cat named Shakespeare, drink obscure teas and hold grand debates with your characters. That’s wonderful.

Just, you know, be yourself. You don’t have to change yourself into a Pinterest board. You don’t have to be a ‘Writer’ as defined by others.

Be your definition.

And write.

Excuse me, I’ve got to get rid of those pips.