This week, I’ve hit another wall in my writing. It’s happened before in exactly the same way: I’m working at a good clip, revising a short story I’ve been working on, fiction, working through revision exercises, feeling like I’m finally making some progress. But then, the exercises require a complete re-draft of the story. Not a re-working of the existing writing, but a complete re-write, starting with a blank sheet of paper. And I stop. I feel like I can’t fit it in.
And then my brain enters a shitty spin cycle: my writing isn’t good enough, how can I start again? Won’t it be the same shit? Why can’t I just write it in chunks? I don’t have time! And when I make time, I sit paralysed in front of the computer and it takes a monumental effort to just try and walk around my inner critic and start typing.
The brick wall of course is that the task is too big to fit my regular practice of writing for an hour and a half each morning. The task demands an unbroken stretch of time, an unbroken stretch of thinking and writing. But I don’t have unbroken time. I have fragmented time. It’s all I have.
And the mind spin continues. Just write it! If you were a real writer, you would have written it already! No one is going to be interested in this. You’re trying too hard. Why bother?
Why bother indeed. And a small voice calls from somewhere deep in my mind’s recesses – bother because I’m interested whether I can write this story. Bother because I’m curious about where it’s going. Bother because art is a process, an unfolding. Bother just because…well, why not?
And so, I keep writing.