Last Sunday, I attended my first SCBWI meeting held at the beautiful home of Prue Mason, in Maleny. We gazed upon a backdrop of mountains and a canopy of Australian bush. It was impossible to not be inspired when surrounded by such beautiful sights. Writers and illustrators from across Queensland gathered and discussed their latest projects and successes. I was in awe of how much talent surrounded me. And I was inspired to hear how hard these people work to achieve what they do.
In the past week, I’ve hit a bit of a writing wall. I’m back at work and feel my creativity seeping away from me, a little more every day. It frustrates me, no end. Yet I still have to write to get this book done. I have to figure out strategies to get myself to the page every day. I have been flicking through my writing books in search of some tips. In her book, ‘Writing Down the Bones’, Natalie Goldberg talks about the two characters that often live in writer’s minds. They are The Dictator and The Resister. And often the two fight to the death.
“I want to write today,” says the Dictator
“Well, I don’t,” answers the Resister.
I know these two characters intimately. As, I’m sure, most writers do. Goldberg’s teacher, Katagiri Roshi taught her the term “Fighting the Tofu”. He explained tofu as being dense, white and bland and concluded it was pointless to wrestle with it. You get nowhere. It’s a strange analogy but I get his point. He suggests you let your internal characters fight as they wish. Let them come to the page with you and then give them five minutes each of your time to put forward their arguments. I put this to the test.
Five minutes of why I don’t want to write:
It’s hard, I don’t know what to say, I can’t think straight, I’m tired, nothing makes sense, everything I write sucks, no one will want to read it, I’m tired, I want to sleep, I can’t think of anything to say…boredom sets in…
Five minutes of why I DO want to write: