Saturday, September 8

Paralysis

I have just returned from my usual Saturday afternoon with Rosie, the 88-year old lady I visit once a week as part of a neighbourhood care scheme (I've previously blogged about her here and here), and I am overcome by a muddled sense of impatience, mixed with excitement and fear.

Like most of us I dream of writing a great novel, and although I have, in recent years, downgraded my hopes and expectations to something of the Mills&Boon variety, in Rosie there is an amazing story to be told, something that could, if handled right, become that great novel... if I only knew how, or, should I say: if I only dared to try.

I have toyed with the idea before, told myself to start small; that all I have to do is sit down and write the skeleton of the story, or perhaps a short story version. It doesn't have to be of epic proportions. And occasionally I do get as far as the computer before paralysis sets in. The expectations I have of myself are crippling, and the only thing I can believe in is my failure.

How do you do it? Because I know you do...

21 comments:

Becca said...

One word at a time. That's the only way. Truthfully, don't think too much, just write :)

GreenishLady said...

Becca said it. And on the front of one of my notebooks, the quote from Goethe that I love:

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

Begin. Be bold. I'd love to read that story. I know I would.

gautami tripathy said...

Do that NOW! It is never too late. If you think positive, it will happen. You can write a novel.

Mardougrrl said...

I just read a quote that said, in effect, that in order to write anything, you have to let go of the perfect version of it that exists in your mind. I am still working on that myself. :)

Jessie said...

i agree with what everyone else has already said. and i also believe that it is possible to trick yourself into writing that great novel by starting with what you've got right now. the tiniest moments between you and rosie tell perhaps the greatest stories. ;)

good luck!

Jo said...

I am on the verge of jumping too (into writing that is). I remind myself daily that for every beautiful novel that blows me away and makes me unworthy, there are another five in a pile by my bed that underwhelmed (no matter the glowing reviews) or I didn't even like enough to finish.......I say write her story.

Miss said...

It's interesting, how many of us are sharing similar themes, or similar variations on one theme.

I'll jump in if you do?

Or maybe that's not a fair challenge coming from a complete stranger.

-- MissMeliss

Edvard Moonke said...

you must write it. once you start, who knows where the inspiration will take you?

colleen said...

My Scribbling post today starts with this: The secret to writing a book? I think it’s this: Take good notes and write often enough that it starts to accumulate.

Sometimes I feel crazy for all the good stories I'm never going to have time or energy to tell.

Nicole said...

we are our own worst enemies sometimes. i have the same fears as you as i begin to write, but gently pushing those thoughts away helps.

word by word you can put it all together...

Poppy Fields said...

Start small, but start. I you just need to get the momentum rolling.

tumblewords said...

Please. Just. Do. It. Nanowrimo is a wonderful venue for getting it done without editing, without thinking - just writing down the words, the thoughts before time slips away.

cheeky said...

Great to have you back.
Fear is paralyzing but only if we allow it to be. I've been crippled with that paralysis at different times in my life and oh how I dislike it. It's hard just taking that first step sometimes but YOU CAN DO IT. It's in there . . . just let it out.
As I write this, trust me I'm telling myself to listen to the very same words. Always easier to tell someone else.
xo

Vedrana M. said...

let go of expectations, it's hard but just try to let the words come through you... love what others wrote :) xxx

lisrobbe said...

I too am struggling with this same fear at the moment. Becca has the best advice "one word at a time".

La Cubana Gringa said...

Do it! :)

Vanessa said...

just dive in, i guess.
that's what i tell myself... and yet i remain teetering on the brink....
like you... waiting for a push.

dive, dive, dive
Vx

daisies said...

just sit down and do it, one word at a time and remember that it doesn't have to be perfect, that will come as you edit, just get it down :) be bold darling you and remember you are a beautiful writer, let it come from your beautiful soul ...

you so can do this and so can i :) xoxox

paris parfait said...

Just write. Just sit down and write and eventually the right words will flow. Don't be so hard on yourself! It sounds like an interesting story and you are the one who should write it. I'll repeat what a French friend told me: "If you don't tell these stories, they will be lost forever." Tell her story in your own voice.

KG said...

Come do National Novel Writing Month with me and a bunch of others worldwide! http://www.nanowrimo.org/

You'll write a first draft of at least 50,000 in 30 days, and well, after doing that even just once, you will discover a whole new level of writer in yourself...and writing that novel will become a whole lot clearer.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I've done it twice now --- it creates such momentum and challenge and fun.

serrin said...

Start a blog about Rosie. The story will write itself.