The other night I decided to write an entry for a themed short story competition I wanted to enter. The deadline was fast approaching and I didn't have anything in my folders I could recycle. I needed to write something new.
I dutifully sat down at my laptop, flicked through my notebook and read the notes I'd scribbled down about my idea. Okay, so far so good. Not an amazing idea but not bad either.
I started writing.
Then paused to check the word count.
Only 369 words. Oh dear. The entry was supposed to be around 2,000.
I wrote a bit more.
Then paused to check my email.
There was an email waiting that made me very grumpy indeed.
I flicked back to my story, put my fingers to the keys and...
Blocked. Totally blocked. I didn't know where the story was going next and, in light of the email I'd just read, I was in no mood to finish it.
Bugger it, I thought. I'm going to have a large glass of white wine instead.
So I sipped (knocked back) my white wine as I surfed other people's blogs. Several people mentioned they'd finished their entries to the same comp and sent them off.
Arse, I thought. Why am I such a poor excuse for a writer? Why can't I even finish a short story?
I drank another large glass of white wine and turned my attention back to the screen.
"I'm going to finish you," I said to my short story, "even if what I write is total rubbish."
I put my fingers to the keys and typed and typed and typed.
An hour later I wrote 'The End' and went to bed (my head was spinning a bit I'll admit).
The next day I opened the story and read it through, fully expecting it to be total rubbish.
It wasn't. It was ever so slightly confused and I wasn't 100% sure what point I was trying to make but there was enough good stuff there to salvage the story. I started editing it and, when I felt it was as good as it was going to get, I posted it on my writing community and crossed my fingers.
They're going to say it's shit, I thought to myself. They're going to think it's the confused rantings of a drunk mind.
I tried not to think about it and went to do something else instead.
Several hours later I logged into the community to check if anyone had read it yet. Two people had. Eeek! But what had they said?
OHMYGOD. They liked it, they really liked it. It's a winner someone said. Moving without being sentimental the other person said. Just fix a few typos and send it off they said.
So guess what? I AM. Right now.
So hooray for wine. And hooray for the bloggers who inadvertently motivated me to finish it. It doesn't matter if I place in this competition or not. I'm just glad I wrote something that worked.
Hmmm. I wonder if I can drink my way all the way through an 80,000 word novel?