As much as you want ideas to turn into good then great prose, some days and weeks it just doesn’t happen. Last week was particularly bad. All that turgid writing. I was working on a new section, my characters going down paths so completely wrong in tone and emotion that I felt I’d lost them, that I no longer had control. I’d had bad periods of writing before but this was something else. The things I told myself: this was proof that I was a weak writer, that I really don’t have anything whatsoever to contribute to the world of literature. I told myself to walk away now while the going was good. No one need to know about this failed novel, you imposter. Maybe allow a more talented writer to find the seed of this novel and turn it into gold.
I realised after a few days that the problem was that I wasn’t connecting with anything that was happening on the page. And if I wasn’t connecting, what hope would the next draft have?
Construction. Cycles of life and death. Breathing. Perspective. There would be answers to the narrative problems I was having. Perspective.
I have been here many times before: this period would pass. Besides, it’s only writing. That can be fixed with perseverance and trying new approaches. That can be fixed by getting out of your own head and being in the world. And when you’ve been there, come back to the page and try again tomorrow.