An Inverse Relationship

Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed there seems to be an inverse relationship between my writing and my painting.  When writing is going well, I struggle with painting.  When my painting starts picking up, my writing declines significantly in terms of ease and quality.

This year, my painting has been going really well.  Needless to say, I’ve really had to push the writing barrow, and have lamented on many occasion a certain lack of spark in my prose.  Tonight, I started a new painting (a gift for a friend, no less), and it went really badly.

Hoorah!

Anyhow, I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas if you celebrate it and all the best for the new year.

Moments of Writing Stillness

Despite all the problems I’ve been having with my story, I’ve found myself over the last few weeks preferring to write my tome rather than do the cyber-posting thing.  Normally, any excuse not to write is a good one, so this has surprised me a little.  However, I’ve gone with it, and my gut instinct seems to have been right.

This is because lately I’ve noticed that I seem to be hitting little spots of ‘stillness’ in my writing.  Sounds like writer’s block, doesn’t it?  Just the opposite is true.

Moments of ‘stillness’ are when you’re so absorbed in your writing that time fades and you hit a run of power and you know there’s some essential truth in what you’re saying.  The emotion is raw but real, your character is alive and making their own decisions, and your heart is breaking every bit as much as your reader’s will be. 

The wierd thing is that usually, I have to work hard for those moments.  I have to set things up, laboriously scrawling word after word trying to get into my groove.  Only after a lot of words and hours of tedium did that moment happen,  when I hit that bit of dialogue that gives me goosebumps, and I think maybe I’m OK at this gig after all. 

But lately, I’ve hit it in a bout of fifteen minutes of writing. 

You read that right – fifteen minutes.  Whenever I find myself putting off writing for days on end, I say to myself ‘I’ll only write for fifteen minutes a day’.  It always works – for some reason whenever I try to up the limit I resist and refuse.  I’d like to say the fifteen minutes becomes longer on most days, but it doesn’t.  Often, I’m watching the clock and forcing myself to remain seated with my pen moving for the full fifteen.  How can inspiration possibly come under such circumstances?

But it does.  And in the last couple of weeks, I’ve found that those moments of stillness I used to have to work hard for can hit within seconds of forcing my pen to start writing.  Maginificent!