Well, that’s a wrap for week one. Five days, five chapters and around 15k words of Shut In written and uploaded to the ol’ cloud, which reduces my “what if the laptop catches on fire?” paranoia levels by at least 90%. First three days were a dream, words falling pleasingly from my brain into neatly assembled and, mostly, cliche-free sentences. Huh, I’ve really cracked this writing thing, can’t wait to file my Costa Book Award on the shelf in the toilet!
Day four and five put me in mind of my recent colonoscopy where in order to see my tubes in 4K HD they gave me a medication called MoviPrep. Two impossibly big sachets of powdered medicine with a detergent lemon smell and insipidly sweet flavour had to be diluted in two litres of water to create Satan’s favourite brew. Swallowing a sip of the stuff was excrutiating – drinking two litres required an act of iron will and a mantra that it couldn’t possibly be worse than drinking sambucca.
Just like MoviPrep, day four and five required a determined perseverence just to get through and equally resulted in me peppering a colon’s worth of shit over a pristine white surface. Only this time it was a Word document rather than a toilet bowl that I was besmirching – and the shit wasn’t coming from my bum, it was coming from my fingers – via my brain. It’s precisely that redundant, clunkily-phrased sort of explanation that day four and five were all about.
It’s a horrible feeling knowing that you’re engaged in an act of fraud. You feel bad for daring to claim that you can be a writer. Then you feel guilty about inflicting this story on the world. These ridiculous, mawkish characters. This risible premise. Blah – it’s all blah!
The only thing I can think to do in those circumstances is to just sit and churn it out. Doesn’t matter if it’s crap – keep thinking of that pristine colon. Keep repeating: the way out is through. The way out is through. The way out is through. And then you reach a point at the end of the week where you have five chapters in rough and there’s a moment where you stop and think on balance that maybe it’ll be ok?
Happy weekend everyone!