Sometimes the work goes slowly

…and it feels bad. This happened to me this week.

Back from holiday, ready to get back to the writing and everything slowed down. I felt ill, my back hurt, I was lethargic, my head spun, my brain felt full of fog. I had a hundred reasons for why I couldn’t get down to it.

And when I did sit down and review what I had written before I went away, about 18,000 words, much of it felt just wrong. The voice felt wrong. The scenes didn’t flow. Or maybe it was me that was wrong, in the wrong mood, trying to force matters.

I kept in there, slowly, reviewing, thinking, insisting to myself that I wrote only sentences that were true.

Hemingway said he would keep writing each morning until he wrote one true sentence. Then he would build on that.

Today I realised what had been going wrong. What was untrue. I had been writing from the wrong character’s point of view.

Once I shifted the point of view to the right character, everything lit up. You know, with your whole body, when you’ve made a right decision. That’s why I always say good writing is physical – it’s something you do with your body.

Lethargy, aches and pains, all gone.