Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tis the Season to Procrastinate ... and Cogitate

Ah, the holiday season. Here in Australia, our kids get roughly eight weeks off school to enjoy Christmas and our summer.  And while I've been trying my best to keep working on revisions with a house full of my kids and their friends, truth be told, I've kinda given up.

How could I not? With trips to the beach, the movies, BBQs, bush walks, sleep-overs to oversee ... well, real life seems to be much more worth living at the moment. And, wimp that I am, the battle for some writing time for me seems all too hard.

It's not procrastination. Really. But I must admit, I've been a tad worried that the real reason I'm barely touching the WIP is I've hit a point where I'm questioning why I keep on pushing on with the same old WIP. I've been at it - in its current incarnation - for a couple of years now. Older incarnations go back even further. I've still got a bunch of work to do. And the worry is setting in ... is the reason I'm taking so long to be done simply that I'm climbing the learning curve all writers must climb? Or more worryingly, is it because there's something fundamentally wrong with what I'm writing?

The good thing about not having time to actually write and revise is that instead, you find you have time to think and absorb what's around you in the universe. And being in this frame of mind I read an interview with a very successful Australian recording artist, Gotye. In November 2011, his song Somebody That I Used To Know won the Australian Recording Industry Award (ARIA)  for best single of 2011. And according to this interview, this was also the song he was closest to scrapping from his album.

There are lots of reasons why. Mainly because of scheduling problems with the other artist he recorded with, but also due to the fact the song went through many different incarnations while he laboured through a lot of second guessing in his quest to get it just right.

So. At the end of the day, who knows whether I'm on the right track with my book? I have a certain gut instinct that I just might be, but really, I'm clueless. But if even the greats among us can get hung up and stalled by self doubt, why on earth should I be immune?

There's something comforting in that for us all, really ...


  1. What an appropriate name--ARIA!
    Good luck, Rachel. I'm just starting back into my WIP after a long, dry spell thanks to Scrivener. Really. I'm rereading as I transfer my files in and the story is sparking again. ; )

  2. Good luck Rachel! I think getting out in the real world is a great way to fill up the well of inspiration. And don't ignore any new ideas that might be coming to you!

  3. Seems 2011 was a time to cogitate for many of us. Let's hope 2012 sees great results from it.

  4. I may be getting this wrong, but didn't Stephen King throw out Carrie because he thought it sucked, then his wife pulled it out of the garbage and made him finish it? :)

  5. @ Zan Marie - Oh, Scrivener is awesome! Just the ease with which you can move scenes around, and *see* how these changes work ... just magic.

    Good luck to you, too! :-)

  6. @ Deniz - You're right, filling the well is very important. Something I haven't done as much as I should have. And the new ideas ... heh, I now have several thousand words of my "new idea" ... not letting myself go any further than brain storming until I'm done with the current WIP, though. The carrot to dangle in front of this donkey, if you like ... :-P

  7. @ Susan - Could not have said it better myself, my dear. :-)

  8. @ Kristen - you're absolutely correct. And it goes to show we all need someone who believes in us more than we do to help us through those dark moments ...