Not exactly hitting the wall

I’ve never run a marathon or done very much running at all – I used to play sports which included running such as hockey, but I wasn’t much good at it. However I did swim long distances, and did long distance swimming races, but I never experienced what is called ‘the wall’ … defined as  ‘a condition of sudden fatigue and loss of energy which is caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles’.  I’m wondering if there is a writer’s wall? I don’t mean writer’s block – and here’s another definition, a condition in which a writer loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown.

Just side-tracking to think about writer’s block, it sounds a horrific thing for a creative person – a total loss of writing muscle and an empty head… Writer’s block can be a complete lack of inspiration or new ideas, or a lack of belief in any ideas that are kicking about, an almost fear of the blank page or screen, a lack of confidence or faith in any ideas that do trickle reluctantly into the brain… It’s not just laziness and it can be frustrating, and more than frustrating for some.

I feel as if I have run out of something – I’m still writing, as you can see here! I still have plenty of ideas – I’m three-quarters way through my next Radwinter story, I still have my character Gus waiting for his story to arrive, I have 50,053 words of the story of Milla which I wrote as part of the National Novel Writing Month challenge, I still have the start of my ‘Dancing in the Road’ story about Theo and the unnamed narrator, I have my autobiographical writing… I have loads of ideas, plus a few others.

So what have I run out of? Why can’t I get on with Radwinter which I’d hoped to finish the first draft by now? I think the thing I have run out of just temporarily is time… Yes it’s a busy time of year, yes we have a houseful rather than just the two of us… Yes – that’s the thing! For various reasons we are really busy at the moment, the house is really hectic with people and things, my evenings are taken up with other activities, my early mornings are disrupted – all in a nice way, all in a family and friends way, but since finishing the fifty thousand word challenge  life has been a whirlwind! The 50,000 word challenge – I had hoped to be writing my other things while I was doing it, but that proved impossible.

So I have reasons for not writing as I usually write; it’s not just a random thing which has occurred – but it is frustrating all the same… until I remembered something I said to someone else. It’s strange isn’t it that we sometimes give advice to others, but don’t apply it to ourselves… A friend was worrying because she hadn’t been able to write anything and I said to her something along the lines of ‘just thinking about writing is almost as important‘ – and yes it is!! I’m doing lots of thinking about writing! I’m working ideas out in my head all the time – when I’m driving somewhere, or waiting for something, or lying in bed waiting for sleep, I’m thinking about my stories, thinking about the characters and what they are doing, and imagining the settings and locations!

So I haven’t hit the writing wall, here I still am, writing; I don’t have writer’s block, all I have is a lack of writing time… for the moment!!

Here is a link to things I did manage to write!!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden

The Wall

Recently a friend of mine competed in the Great North Run, which is the largest half marathon in the world and takes place on a route between  Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields. it is an amazing event with tens of thousands of competitors and hundreds of thousands of spectators. As a girl i was a keen swimmer, and the longest race I took part in was seven miles (which I won); I have always been a hopeless runner, even when I was very, very fit, so I really admire people who run, in marathons or half-marathons or any long distance event.

One of the challenges (one of the many challenges) of such a test is to overcome what is known as ‘the wall’; to mis-quote from Runners World “your brain feel like porridge, your imagination grows laboured, your stream of words turn into a trickle. Negative  writing thoughts flood your mind, and the urge to quit becomes overwhelming.” I feel as if I am approaching my writing wall – with my new Thomas Radwinter novel, provisionally called ‘Saltpans’. I have all these threads of story-line and they have become like knotted knitting wool, what I’m writing seems feeble, boring, clichéed, unengaging, and yes – there are a few negative thoughts creeping in.

Let me challenge those negative thoughts:

  • I’ve run out of ideas – NO YOU HAVEN’T, MAYBE YOU HAVE TOO MANY IDEAS SO WEED OUT A FEW AND CARRY ON!
  • My story is preposterous and unrealistic – ALL YOUR STORIES ARE PREPOSTEROUS AND RIDICULOUS, THAT IS THE NATURE OF FICTION – ESPECIALLY YOUR FICTION. SHUT UP AND CARRY ON
  • My writing is feeble and clichéed – YES PROBABLY IT IS BUT YOU WILL (NOT CAN, WILL) SORT THAT OUT IN YOUR NUMEROUS REWRITES AND EDITING
  • I’ve lost my writing muscles – YES YOU PROBABLY HAVE! YOU ARE DOING LOTS OF THINGS AT THE MOMENT, IN YOUR WRITING WORLD AND IN YOUR OTHER WORLD – GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! ALL WILL BE WELL, AND MAYBE RESET YOUR END DATE
  • negative writing thoughts – OH PLEASE!! GOOD GRIEF!! SHUT UP AND CARRY ON!

OK, I feel better now!

Cheers!

here is a link to my books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden

Here is a link the the Runners’ World article:

https://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/how-to-avoid-hitting-the-wall-while-running