no rhyme or reason – #whatImwriting

The blogging side of my writing seesaw came crashing down again this week and I haven’t posted since last Tuesday. Of course this means the writing side of the seesaw went rocketing into the sky and I was really productive.

inside my head/ on my coffee table

inside my head / on my coffee table

Or at least it should mean that.

I’ve certainly put a lot of time into writing this week – I’ve been editing my picture books based on the feedback I received from the manuscript review service. I’ve spent hours taking apart verses and putting them back together again, trying to work out if there was a better rhyme for this or a more succinct way of phrasing that. I’ve had so many rhymes spinning round in my head that they’ve invaded my dreams, chattering frantically to get my attention, tugging at my sleeping brain until they’ve forced it into wakefulness.

And yet I still don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. I had a horrible feeling earlier today that all I was doing was ruining what I’d written, that I was cutting too much out and changing it too much. I’m sure this can’t actually be true. At least I hope it isn’t true but I’m definitley starting to doubt myself.

‘Take a break from it’ I thought. But my writing time is so limited and the summer holidays  – which herald no child-free time – are racing towards us so I feel the need to write while I can. Not tonight though; enough’s enough. It’s 8.45 on a Monday evening and once I’ve finished this post I’m having a glass of wine and doing something else. I don’t care what it is, as long as there are no aliens or cake or magical adventures. And absolutely no rhymes.

Here endeth the post (I’m off for some toast).

14 thoughts on “no rhyme or reason – #whatImwriting

  1. Mummy Tries

    Oh hon it’s so tricky knowing what to edit out, what to edit and keep in and what to not change. The hardest feeling is the one that says I’m doing more harm than good here… as I was reading this I was thinking take a break from it… just a week perhaps, see how you’re feeling next Monday? Sending hugs lovely xxx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Reneé, the problem is, even when I decide to take a break my brain keeps working at it! Hugs gratefully received xxx

      Reply
  2. Rebecca Ann Smith

    I agree you need to take a break – your brain will keep processing the work you’ve already put in, and things will become clearer. I relate to your panic about the approaching summer holidays, but there’s definitely a time to stop looking directly at something. Hope you had a good night’s sleep last night!

    Reply
  3. Iona@redpeffer

    I think if you’re feeling like that a break is definitely needed. I know exactly what you mean about the holidays coming and the knowledge that writing time will be non-existent, but it’s just something we have to work with as mum’s and writers. Everyone will find their own way, but ultimately it’s all about what feels right. If it takes longer, so be it. You will get there.

    Reply
  4. Nicola Young

    Trust your instincts to know that perhaps you are right and you are over working it. A break is definitely a good thing. See what you think about it after leaving it be for a few days. Know what you mean about living on borrowed time though.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Yes, six weeks of summer holiday does seem like an awfully long time when you know writing time is going to be hugely limited! But still, a break may bring perspective. Thanks Nicola. x

      Reply
  5. Dana

    Oh the tipping scale is so hard to deal with sometimes! I know what you mean about feeling the need to work as summer quickly approaches, yet some nights really do require wine and something other than – in your case – rhyming :)

    Reply
  6. Sara | mumturnedmom

    I would agree with the others, take a break. I have a tendency to over edit, and sometimes I just have to stop playing with sentences! My husband is forever telling me to stop, that my first pass is generally better than my hacked about version, he’s often right, but not always :) It’s hard to see clearly when you’re feeling unsure about it though, time away from it definitely helps x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      It’s the fact that sometimes it’s better to continue the edit, but sometimes it’s not, that makes it a tricky call isn’t it? I may give myself the weekend off (as in, no writing in the evenings and telling my brain to shut up when it tries to rhyme while pouring cheerios in the morning!) thanks Sara. xx

      Reply
  7. Sophie Lovett

    Ah I so recognise that point in the edit! It will pass, and a combination of taking breaks when you need them and powering through ignoring the self-doubt demons is the way to go I reckon. I kept reminding myself that whatever I did when I was editing I still had the original to go back to if I needed to – that actually reworking too much was almost better than not enough, because then I could pull back from that and find a middle ground. You will get there! xx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Ah ha – yes, that’s a very good point – I still have ALL the previous versions so I can compare and contrast! Thanks Sophie. xx

      Reply

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