Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

‘Fess Up Friday


Today is the day that writers confess how their writing week has gone, thanks to the lovely and very Literate Kitten. Mine has been both good and bad – some highs followed by some lows, followed by highs again. I felt my fiction writing terror this week, but also a calm confidence that I can keep taking this novel forward. My story died at this same point – 30,000 words – three years ago, so this week it has been crucial for me to break through the obstacle and keep going. And I did it – it now stands at 36,000! My goal for now is just to keep going: I’m not after a major piece of literary fiction, I just want to get to the end and see what happens. The burnishing and polishing I will save for the second draft.

This week I finished Chapter Five on Monday night. Full of confidence I submitted it my writing cheerleaders (dear friends, who are also writers and readers, and whose job it is right now to be completely encouraging) immediately, then slept. When I woke in the morning, I read it again and realised I had been over-confident. It was wrong, all wrong. I was too far forward in the story and needed to reign it back in.

That’s when the fear and the doubt started, those mean little thoughts that say, “You are going to fail”, “It’s never going to happen”, “You’re going to die a bitter old woman who never finished a novel.”

Last night, inspired by this challenge, I faced my fears and completely rewrote Chapter Five, all 7,000 words of it. I submitted it to my cheerleaders at 2am. There are parts of it I like and parts of it I’m iffy about, but the main thing is that it keeps the story going forward. And that’s my goal: onward and upward and ever forward, with no looking back.

This week I plan to have some thoughts about Chapter Six. I plan to go to gym and then to the Cafe with the Chais, and write in my notebook with a pen about a woman whose son has left and who wakes up to realise he took her joy with her.

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

11 thoughts on “‘Fess Up Friday

  1. I must do a Slaves of Golconda post today so I’ll ‘fess up here that I wrote the first sample chapter for the motherhood book this week looking at the contemporary state of mothering (yummy mummies and slummy mummies). And the main thing is that I feel shattered! I don’t know how you managed a 7,000 word rewrite so quickly, Charlotte really I don’t! But the beauty of writing is that if it’s not right you can just go over it again (and again). Well done for having got over the 30,000 word barrier – that sounds like a real achievement to me.

  2. Yes, just keep going, keep up your writing momentum! Please send your inner editor on a long holiday cruise, with your inner critic onboard to serve the drinks, and perhaps those sneaky mean thoughts will accidentally fall overboard : )

    The fact that you could look afresh at chapter 5 and see that it needing reworking is a good sign–you are in no way stuck or burned out, but have made it past that psychological swamp of 30,000 words and are moving right along.

  3. How exciting! You are an inspiration. Next week, I’m taking the plunge and actually sitting at my desk with the pure intention of writing.

    Keep it up!!!!

  4. Don’t you hate those little voices? The ones that say “you can’t, won’t, aren’t worth it”? Glad you lent them a deaf ear and moved on….

  5. Pingback: ‘fess up Friday « Writing Under a Pseudonym

  6. Charlotte,

    Facing your fears and moving on, that’s it! Isn’t that really what we have to do to accomplish anything? It reminds me of that little song in “Finding Nemo.” Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

  7. Congrats on reworking chapter 5. I hope your cheerleaders offer rave reviews or at least some insightful feedback.

  8. OH Charlotte, this is so amazing, all the work you’re doing. We’re here to cheer you on, while you continue to conquer all those fears.

  9. I had a bout with the Voice of Failure this week as well. And I am proud to say that ACTION is the best medicine against it. You go, girl! You’re on the right way.

  10. Pingback: Confessions of a Slacker « Charlotte’s Web

  11. My god this all sounded familiar! The 30,000 mark is my sticking point too – what’s that about?!
    Well congrats on pushing through 🙂
    I’ve been away and missed a lot, so will have to catch up slowly!
    Simonne 🙂

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