Experimental Writing !

I should have been working at the Hay Literary Festival this week but, due to a pulled back muscle, I've been off sick and housebound instead for the last seven days  :(   I couldn't do much for the first couple of days except lie flat or, alternately, hobble around feeling bored. But by Wednesday, thankfully, I was able to get down to doing some writing - albeit standing up at my breakfast bar.

Having kicked my last book into touch for a while, I decided to take the opportunity to try something a bit different.  Would a new work station and view spark some fresh ideas and approaches?  It would and it did!  I'm one of those perfectionist type of writers who go over and over the same paragraph, line, or even word sometimes until it is  just right, at least to my mind.  To an editor or reader, of course, it might come across as completely wrong.

Too many times, when layering my story and digging deep into emotions, I've found myself not being able to see the wood for the trees. Writing pal Sarah Snowdon  took the words right out of my mouth a few days ago when she said "The more I think about my story, the harder I try, the worse it gets."  I know exactly how you feel, Sarah!

So, in an attempt to get my work flowing freer and faster, and to break my habit of overwriting, I'm actually drafting two, very different chapters for the RNA conference industry appointments next month.  One is a new book, which I'm aiming at HMB, and the other is a rework of an old story, which I'm aiming . . . well, anywhere really.  I'm also setting myself a goal of 1000 words minimum every day, achievable so far and hoping to still reach that target when I pick up the day job again next week!


  1. Hi Melissa. I'm glad to hear a new view is helping to free up those writing muscles. Sometimes I have to consciously stop mentally galloping ahead too far when I'm writing as it tends to tie my thoughts into all sorts of knots! Good luck with your two chapters for the conference. xx
    P.S. Hope the back's easing up.

  2. Hi, Sarah, thanks for your comment. Interestingly, I tend to trot slowly along in my writing and still get tied up in knots too! Time for a head-clearing, flat-out gallop I think ;) See you soon and hope the writing is going well xx

  3. Nothing wrong with an occasional gallop as a way of getting the words down - as long as you go back and edit them - and untangle those knots - later. As the saying goes . . . you can always edit a bad page. Believe me, this happens to published authors too! Hope your back is much less uncomfortable now, Melissa.

    See you both soon

  4. Hi Kate, yes, my back is a lot better now, thanks - seems a gallop is good for a lot of things not just writing ;) Looking forward to catching up soon xx


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