I have one more short scene to finish before I complete the central part of my novel. It’s no more than two or three pages, which, best-case, would take a couple of days or so, even factoring in my piecemeal, part-time writing structure of lunch hours and late nights. I’ve been working on this scene for a month so far though, and I’m no nearer finishing it than when I started. (Hence this prevaricating blog post, I suppose.)
Normally, this long and frustrating delay could be chalked up to that mysterious ailment “writer’s block”, but I’m adamant that this condition is (appropriately) fictional. There’s no such thing. It doesn’t exist. There are only different degrees of energy and motivation, and if you are in any way serious about writing you should be able to get the words down when you don’t in the least feel like it. In fact, especially when you don’t in the least feel like it.
It’s partly been a time-management problem. The new university term has started and the library, where I normally write on my lunch hour, has become over-run with students; the hour I spend there can make up the bulk of my writing day, and I just need to reorder when and where I sit down and get the work done. I think also it’s a general feeling of malaise and anxiety surrounding the imminent announcement of the New Writers Awards, which I wrote about earlier. It’s as if I’ve lost the will to force myself onwards while I’m waiting to hear about them.
At the moment then, I’m getting down about 20 words a day, if that. And then there’s the third and final part to write. And then there’s all the redrafting and editing, and the two years I’ve already spent writing this will seem paradise itself compared to that endlessly frustrating (but still peerlessly rewarding) stage.