Imagine me whispering for a second.
Sometimes I get pretty bored of writing.
It’s why I know I don’t have the stamina and the diligence for non-fiction. The staying power for a whodunnit. The wherewithal to bash out a tense techno-thriller. Or the super-stretchy imagination you need for hard SF.
It’s why I look at all these writers on Twitter saying they’ve written six million words that day and want to puke all over my laptop.
It’s also why the idea of going on a writing holiday makes me want to put my head in a blender.
Doesn’t it you?
But it isn’t over-familiarity that causes this boredom. Like many writers, I can look at a blank piece of toast and feel panic that I’ve not put any words on it.
I’m not being jaded, either. I never forget that writing is massively rewarding, because you can only get better. (And it pays the bills.)
Or that writing is beautiful because all that lost sleep and problem solving and heavy pecking can end up in someone’s hands…
… And maybe even leave a lasting dent in their head.
Plus writing is fun. Seems that way when you’ve finished writing, anyway.
So why do I get bored of writing sometimes?
Because I get bored of reading it.
My own stuff, that is.
I’m writing the difficult second novel now. Though it’s more like the difficult fifth novel. You should see the state of the first two. Well, a few people did.
This difficult fifth second novel of mine was going to be a sequel. It was going to be the same world. Some of the same characters.
But I got really bored. Of trying to find the spark that became the engine that became the heart of the last one. Scrabbling about for whatever it was (past tense: it is dead now) that held that other novel together.
Odd, right? I mean you’re meant to grow be more confident. But then when you imagine your girlfriend, agent, beta readers, poring over every sentence, you just see pained faces. You hear ‘It’s good but it’s not quite the same as the last thing’.
You sense that they’re bored too.
And you’re only as good as your last paragraph. And if you weren’t bored writing that, but you’re bored writing this one, then it’s time to change.
So you have to change things.
Change is good. Even when — or especially when — you’re scared of it.
Like how I didn’t want to move to London, because I thought London was full of dicks.
(London is full of dicks. But now I’m one of them.)
So I’ve decided to try something different. I’ve accepted that the muse who presided over my last novel is lying, bleeding or bled out in a ditch someplace. And so far I’ve not been bored for a second.