There can be so many reasons why it's hard to sit down and write.
These can be as varied as the necessity to earn money to eat, or long ago memories of teachers who called you stupid as you struggled with dyslexia. Then there's ill health, low self-belief, or the need to make a perfect cup of coffee or to empty the bins before you start. Not to mention the inconvenient demands of a family, or an non-supportive partner.
In my first years of writing fiction, I had a boyfriend who was driven demented by the sound of me typing.
He would come into the kitchen - which was the only room in our flat where I could have a desk - and read out passages from my current work in progress in a cynical tone of voice.
"He strode off without a backward glance. She turned and walked slowly in the opposite direction, feeling as battered and bruised as if he had hit her physically. They hadn't spoken for more than five minutes, and in that short time he had made it quite clear that he no longer found her attractive. Well, asked a little voice, what did you expect?"
In those days, I wrote romances filled with tall, dark heroes with amazing cheek bones. Was my boyfriend jealous? Maybe. Certainly, those books were written despite him.
Never fear, reader; I dumped him. Not as soon as I ought to have done, but that's a different story.
I have written despite having repetative strain injury in my wrists from a brain-numbing data inputting job at a college. (I wore tubigrip bandages).
I have written despite relationship break-ups and in snatches of time while my baby son napped.
Writing takes time, and it also takes self-discipline, so in a way, all writers Write Despite something.
But some people have to overcome greater challenges than others in order to express themselves on paper, and I thought it would be inspiring and reassuring for us to hear these writers' stories of creation against the odds.
So, from next Thursday, 21st January, I'm introducing a new feature on my blog: Write Despite.
Each week, a writer who has successfully dealt with challenges in order to write will inspire us by answering these 5 questions:
- What challenges have you had to overcome or deal with in order to write?
- How do you think this challenge has impacted on your writing?
- What was your greatest fear when you first started to write?
- What advice would you give to someone who wants to write, but who is feeling held back by circumstances and/or challenges?
- Tell us a bit about something you've written that you're really proud of, or something you're writing now.
I can't wait!
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