Writing is weird. You can spend months fumbling through a first draft like a child with wet clay and no supervision. Sentences slip through your hands. The chapters won’t stay together. You get an awful lot of it under your nails, and around your mouth. (The carpet’s ruined.)
You begin to doubt yourself, and your abilities. You know what you want to say, you know the story you want to tell, but it won’t seem to take shape. Sometimes it takes everything not to pick up that clay, mash it into a ball and hurl it through the window. (Open or closed – take your pick.)
Then, one afternoon, when you’ve just about given up and resigned yourself to writing something else, it works. In hours you scan through the same draft that has fought you for months, shifting sentences, crafting chapters, pinching words between finger and thumb, and the story appears. It’s still clay. It’s soft, grey, unbaked, you’re going to need to wash your hair three times to get the stray clumps out, but it’s there.
I don’t know what the secret is. I’m tired, I’ve had a long day. Lunch was lasagne, dinner beans on toast. I’ve probably knocked back more tea than usual. I should have been doing something else entirely this evening, but there we have it.
Writing is weird. It is frustrating, time-consuming, the sore-behind-the-eyes kind of tiring out. But when it comes together, for whatever reason, it’s one of the most satisfying feelings.
Learning and self-improvement is so important. Never stop playing, with clay or words. Take a handful, and create something special yourself.