Friday, 12 August 2011

Greta Garble and the Great Cupcake Incident

I am Greta Garble at the moment. I can’t write! I just can’t. Every sentence I try looks at me as if I’m having a laugh. Read that back to yourself and weep, it says smugly, and when I do I realise I have spent an hour crafting a load of baloney.

If my novel was a pencil-top eraser it would now be worn to a sad sorry little stump. I can’t seem to stop revising and editing. It’s because I have decided to make some hefty changes and the very idea makes me want to howl at the moon. So it’s all an uphill struggle at the moment, but there are some things that make a difference.

1. Even if you only have time to write 200 words a day, that is 200 more than nothing
2. When everything is failing, say to yourself that you will only write to the end of the page. Taking off the pressure sometimes encourages creativity.
3. Remember that writing is what we choose to do and as much as it makes us want to tear our hair out, it’s also kind of lovely as well

Even writing a blog post feels kind of tricksy, like I am expecting it to lay in wait a paragraph down and trip up my fingers. Will I get over this strange feeling? It doesn't help that I have given up chocolate since the Great Cupcake Incident.

'What's that?' you say. 'The great cupcake whatta? Spill.'

Well. It was the other day. I was being Healthy and Good. I decided to go on a three-mile stride, as I rather like walking and thinking and plotting and admiring other people's gardens. I set out... and, despite good intentions, the only real place to walk around my area is away out of the borough towards a nice little tea shop.

I may have mentioned this nice little tea-shop before.

So I got there, Woman's Weekly Fiction Special magazine in hand, pen and notebook ready, determined that I was just going to have a coffee. I was lying to myself at this point as I knew full well I was going to have a chocolate cupcake and in fact all my plotting for the last 15 minutes of my walk had been completely cupcake orientated.

'We're having a sale,' chirruped the nice tea-shop lady. She wasn't a bird by the way. But she did chirrup somewhat. In a minute she'll carroll.

'All cakes half-price!' she carrolled.

Blogger buddies, I don't know what came over me. It was like the red velvet mist descended. Next thing I knew; I walked out of the tea shop with a box.

Yes. A box. A box of cupcakes.

I even did that thing in the shop where I pretended I was buying cakes for the family - 'oh mum will like this one and little brother Toby can have that one...'

(There is no little brother Toby. Toby was, in fact, a teddy-bear.)

Bad Jayne. However, my mum did get a cupcake eventually as even I, sugar fiend extraordinaire, can't eat a whole box of cupcakes.

There is a motto here and it probably should say something like if you are being Good and Healthy, avoid the chirrupy happy tea-shop lady. As for me? I'm now on a diet.


The Time Sculptor said...

Ha ha Jayne... who says you can't write atm? You just wrote a whole bunch of blossoming sentences that made me laugh! I honestly thought it was only me who did things like buying several cakes for imaginary people, and now we've both admitted it in public ;-) Good luck with the diet, hope it goes better than mine!
Jane Gray

Clair Humphries said...

Sometimes you just need to give in to those box of cupcake days! Especially when the writing won't do what it's supposed to. Good writing days will come again soon:)

Christine Rains said...

I agree. Sometimes a box of cupcakes can't be denied! I know we all have our up and down days with writing. On a bad day, a cupcake might help!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

What a great post - cupcakes are a worth while thing to stumble over.

I know exactly what you mean by the strange feeling - I called it a form of writer's block called "Writer's Pity" in my blog a few weeks back:

Laura S. said...

LoL, oh Jayne! I hear you about the cupcakes. You enjoyed them immensely, right? As long as you're blissfully happy eating chocolate, then the calories don't count. They melt away or something. It's part of the ancient magic of cacao. It's true. Look it up if you don't believe me! ;)

Old Kitty said...

I wish a nice lady would carroll away to me offering a box of cupcakes at half price when I go for my coffee! LOL!

Diet?!?! Jamais! Take care

Emily R. King said...

LOL! I've done something like this before, but mine weren't half off. If they had been, I'm sure I would have eaten more. Why is it that even discounted food is fun to buy? It's like a great pair of shoes, only with the cupcakes you get a sugar high.

Laura said...

I think avoiding the Good and Healthy bit will stop you having to avoid the cup-cakes. Win-win my friend :)... I'm being Good and Healthy at the moment (there is a silent Cranky at the end of that sentence)

As for the big plotting brain pain... I feel for you. I ground to a halt on my WIP about 3 weeks ago. Now it is lurking in the corner waiting to bite me (actually - all I need to do is turn the whole thing into first person... argh!)

Lovely post and a fantastic Saturday smile

Talli Roland said...

Hahaha! I love the Cupcake episode -- sounds like something I would do! :)

And of course you can write, silly thing. And brilliantly!

Rosalind Adam said...

Sometimes you've just got to go with the chirrupy lady's flow and eat cake. I also think that sometimes, if the writing is stalling, then it's time for doing something completely different... like going for a walk to a tea shop. Oh dear!

Happy Frog and I said...

I hope by the time you get this comment you are having a happier time with your writing. I find writing a minimum of a couple of hundred words a day helpful as well, it's a good tip. Hope you enjoyed your cup cakes, I would have done the same thing in the same circumstances. x

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I love the way you write.
And I love Toby. Sight unseen.

Dolly said...

I really liked this post because it is how I feel about drawing some days, and I love drawing! I will do anything to avoid picking up a pencil...even hoover the flat and hoovering is right up there in my Top 10 of things I hate to do. So, I find it so interesting to read that writers such as yourself find yourself with similar sort of days.