Ernest Hemingway, died on 2nd July 1961, was 62 years old and seems always to have been in pain pursuing his profession. His quotes paint a picture of a soul in torment.
‘The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.’
I’ll never write anything like The Old Man and The Sea or For Whom the Bells Toll. I don’t even think I want to write like that. To me, his writing is pretty near perfect and I can only imagine that the process was torturous. When googling the reviews for the Old Man and the Sea, some praise it, others seem to detest it. So as a writer, you will never please all of the people, criticism is always given.
Now lets just be clear about something, I am not comparing myself to Hemingway, but I like his quotes because thats how I feel every time I try to write fiction. I bleed, I hurt, I ache, I would rather pick up the horse shit by the road for my friend’s garden than write fiction.
At the same time I am compelled to write, I need to write, I want to write and I feel better when I write. The only problem is that, well, I just don’t write! Oh, I promise myself that today is the day I will sit down and write my novel. So, I sharpen a pencil, make sure my pen has ink, get the notebook out and ruler a small margin on each page so it’s ready for the pearls that will flow. I stare at the book, I fiddle with my pen, I look out the window and then I notice something in the room that needs tidying, so I busy myself with that.
I’ve tried to sit for an hour with a blank sheet where I’m not allowed to move for the hour even if I don’t write. What happens? I fall asleep or start to daydream about what I will do later.
The desire to write is like a curse. I could just say ‘thats it, I don’t give a fxxx, I am never going to write a novel and all thoughts, ideas and plans for such a thing will now be thrown out’. What do I do? I write a blog about how I can’t write. I talk to people about how I can’t write. I dream about how I can’t write and I moan about how I can’t write.
I am delighted then to announce that I have written twice this week! Both exercises suggested by a wonderful woman – but I’ve done them. They have nothing to do with my novels and they weren’t that much fun to do but they’re done. Perhaps this will be the week I get started….
My character is a slightly overweight female assassin. Although I suspect she’s more of a Guardian Angel who just happens to have skills which mean she can get herself and others out of difficult situations. She is an excellent markswoman, fun, complex but efficient. She has a close friend who is very beautiful, talented and a risk taker. Her friend works in TV but is anxious as she is about to lose her job. My character makes a suggestion that will change her friend’s fortunes for the better.
Lets see if I can get any further in the next few weeks….