I'ld rather be writing...

>> Tuesday, 2 April 2013

I want to be writing, but I can't.  Not because I have writers block, but because I have a sick child at home and there are few things more guaranteed to distract from any creative process than sitting worrying about your son's high temperature.  Or running upstairs repeatedly to check said high temperature.  Or dealing with repeated requests for water / a toy / a dvd / repeat to fade...

Right now I'm recovering from the latest battle to get Boy #2 to take the nurofen that he hates the taste of but which he needs to bring those numbers down.  It wasn't pretty, I can tell you.  Promises were made - and ignored.  Physical coercion may have been employed.  Threats were certainly utilised.  In a way it's lucky Boy #2 is feeling so ill; he wasn't sharp enough to work out that my bundling him into the car to take him to a hospital where they would intravenously give him the drugs - if he didn't take it in liquid form himself here at home - was an impossibility bearing in mind that Husband has taken the car to work with him today.  Oh, the lies we tell our children...

So, anyway, I have had to put 'The Great Work' to one side for the moment, which is why this post is about writing rather than actually getting on and doing it.

I'm a little over half way through TGW at the moment.  It's taken a while to get this far, but I've made significant progress in the last couple of months and am hopeful that - children's illness aside - I may manage to finish the bones of it before the summer break, but this had presented me with a dilemma; do I ask someone to read it, now, for useful feedback - or do I continue to keep it to myself until I've completed it? I guess writers vary in their approach to this matter, but since this is the first time I've been through this process I've no previous experience to go on.

I can see why I would ask for feedback; it's hard to exist in a bell jar, and an unbiased opinion on what I've written and the direction the story is taking would certainly be helpful.  On the other hand - is there really any such thing as 'an unbiased opinion'?  Whatever we read, we bring our own baggage and experiences to the process - which is why one person can love a book that leaves another cold.  And whilst I do have some idea of how my story will end, it's still a fragile enough structure in my mind to give me pause before I set it up on a wall to be knocked down.

Decisions, decisions...


Russia Lite 2 April 2013 at 13:45  

You pluck up the courage to ask someone to read it so far. Always helpful to get an outside perspective. And, if you had the wisdom and foresight to perform this important function for another writer, when she badly needed an outside opinion, then you can always ask her to read through it. She would be delighted.

The challenges of being a SAM and a writer are many and varied. And half way through is fabulous!

nixdminx 3 April 2013 at 20:49  

I think you should share your writing with a trusted friend who knows published authors/publishers - there must be a few of us but it needs to be someone who understands manuscripts and who is not going to be clinically objective (and kill your muse) or sychophantically subjective and kill your options! I'm sure you must know someone and can't wait to read the final version of whatever you're writing, best of luck

Metropolitan Mum 3 April 2013 at 21:28  

Mhm. I preferred not to share it and let someone read it once it was finished. Unless you find someone who is not adding to the confusion and can hold back their personal taste. Difficult! xx

DD's Diary 4 April 2013 at 17:14  

Hmmm, it's very tricky. I've done it various different ways with different drafts of things .... in the end, a lot of people will have to read your MS before it gets published; agents, editors, publishers .. so in a way showing a draft is a good trial run to get you over any sensitivity you may have .... but it's a big step. Fabulous that you are already halfway there. I'd send the sick child out into the snow to play (no I wouldn't really)

Moscow munchkin,  4 April 2013 at 18:40  

I say you just hand it over to me so I can read it....I'll give you my unbiased opinion...unless of course I am in it? Gosh, I hope I am thin and fit with big boobs and a bottom as hard as a rock....with a kind heart and quick wit......but tongue sharp as a knife and eyes that pierce if you cross me...lets go with someone completely opposite as how I am now. And now that I have made myself the subject of TGW, ,eats just wait for me to read when it is on the New York best seller list, shall we? The suspense is killing me....first chapter...maybe??

MsCaroline 5 April 2013 at 07:11  

Nothing worse than a miserable child - except, perhaps, his miserable mum. Coming late to this due to having been away, but hope by the time you read this he's made a full recovery. I'm not a published writer, but if you're not ready to share the ms with anyone yet or haven't found the right person to share it with, I always found putting the piece away (or shutting the document) giving it some 'time off' to be very useful. It's amazing how, when you come back a few days later, you see your own work with new eyes.

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