going away and writing – does it work?

Mostly yes. The way I think about it is: If I had been here at home struggling with my manuscript, I would have gotten much, much less done.

Four days without internet was seriously pushing the boundaries…urg. Still, it takes away one enormous tool of the devil/procrastination. Unfortunately for my fellow writers, there’s a part of my brain that requires distraction whilst I write, and having no internet I took it out on them.

2-hour break for Jane Eyre, anyone?

Such a brilliant adaptation. And speaking of adaptations, am ridiculously excited about the 2011 film. Michael Fassbender as Rochester? Jamie Bell as St John?

Excuse me while I go scream into a pillow.

Ahem.

Where was I?

(This may give you more of an insight into how distracting I was to my fellow-writers than I intended…)

Halfway through my novel crisis, I remembered that I have a world-class mentor. After a seven minute phone conversation with Valerie/fairy godmother, in which she was as gracious and generous as ever, I had a solution.

My problem was trying to place my re-invented heroine into an existing scene, and get across where she’s at. “Why don’t you have her do something that shows us how she’s feeling?” Valerie asked.

“Oh,” I replied, things lighting up in my sluggish brain. “I just have them all sitting around, thinking.”

It’s Show Don’t Tell 101, but sometimes you just don’t have the distance to see it for yourself.

Another favourite thing from the retreat/junket/holiday (closely followed by dinner on a glad-wrapped table to save washing up):

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About anna cowan

I look around, and here I am - housewife and aspiring romance novelist. This seems unexpected.
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3 Responses to going away and writing – does it work?

  1. Mike Innes says:

    Aside from the whole change of scenery thing, I find travelling always helps me get writing. I love writing on long bus/train journeys. Actually, I once got on the Glasgow underground and just kept riding for about two hours for that very purpose! unfortunately the seating arrangements aren’t especially comfortable on the subway :/

    I’m so chuffed my GF let me steal her laptop for NaNo, its made the whole writing process more fun. I might not give it back… Don’t get me wrong, I love writing by hand, but typing it all out again afterwards can be dull, dull, dull!

    As to loosing the internet… its annoying not having an immediate source of reference, but I find some days you end up *over* researching, then it throws your plot right off and also, before you know it, you’ve spent three hours researching vintage crockery, or string theory, that could’ve been spent just writing! When I don’t have the net, I don’t succumb to those temptations, instead I just highlight my uncertain bit of factuality and determine to come back to it later.

    • I can’t write by hand anymore! It kind of freaks my brain out, not to mention the hand cramps… It’s kind of sad – I used to write for hours on end with pen and paper. But I’m so used to how words look on a computer document as I’m typing, that it’s become an important reference point while I work – for the length/pace etc. of the piece.

      Being without the internet IS good for not procrastinating (you actually research? How productive of you! đŸ˜‰ ) but checking my emails/blogs I follow etc. in the morning before I start writing is such a part of my routine, that it throws me out of whack not having it, and I start feeling itchy.

      I love the image of travelling round and round on the wee Glasgow underground, writing. Ken used to travel a couple of loops around on his way home from work so that he could read his book.

  2. Pingback: Jane Eyre the movie | diary of a(n accidental) housewife

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