Tapped Out

I had all of yesterday to work on the novel. Yes. An entire day. After sleeping-in, I got up and read the paper while I had breakfast. Then I dealt with some emails and did a few bloggy things and it was time to start.

I have a 1000 word a day target, which, when I have a whole day to write, is obviously not a difficult one. It was only about 10.30am and conceivably I still had about 7.5 hours to achieve my goal. Easy.

I wrote about 300 words. I read over them. They weren’t terribly inspiring. Which got me to thinking that perhaps the entire book isn’t inspiring. This was a sobering thought for a writer still in her pajamas at 10.30 in the morning and only one coffee in her system.

So I did what any self respecting writer should do. I panicked. I fired off an email to CJ, lamenting that the entire book is rubbish and the whole idea behind it, stupid. CJ, smart man that he is, decided that rather than email me back (on top of designing the world, okay maybe not the world, but, you know, stuff, important stuff), he’d call and placate his dramatic, half-Italian wife in the midst of her mini-breakdown.

I say mini, but it wasn’t until he spoke to me that he realised how maxi my condition actually was.

“Honey? You ok?”
“I’m cleaning the taps.”
“What? Which taps?”
“The kitchen taps.”
“Because they’re dirty.”
“Honey? Are you writing?”
“Yes. No. I’m cleaning the taps.”
“You want to talk about it?”
“No. Yes. They’re really shiny now.”
“That’s great honey. Do you need to talk about the book?”
“I think I’ve hit a wall.”

And I had. Hit a wall. So I sat with a big piece of butcher’s paper and plotted out where I was and where I was going. And then I took my laptop outside and sat in the fresh air and picked up where I’d left off hours before. I’m getting through it. I’m writing through the hump. And you should see my kitchen taps. They’re friggin’ awesome.



Filed under Art, Family, Fiction, Humour, Love, My Book, Writing

21 responses to “Tapped Out

  1. I can relate.

    Great Blog… I’ll be reading you. Just put up a link to it on my page.


  2. Firstly, yayayayay for you getting the time, prioritising perfectly. And for him, buy him a beer from me, that is a man who loves his wife.
    Oh and also for getting through the hump, I usually just go, oh well,


  3. One Penny Profiles

    Ugh. Been there. Advice: stick your head in the freezer for a minute or two and, while you lay there head crooked sideways amongst the solid chicken breasts and ice cubes you just may come to the realization–as I have on numerous occasions–of just how ridiculous things really are and in doing so, may chill and beat the block.

    From: onepennyprofiles@wordpress.com


  4. Doktor Holocaust

    I tried writing a book once. about a quarter of the way in, I hit a wall, got writer’s block, started entertaining myself by doing a webcomic, then I found a door in the wall, but the door didn’t go to anything to do with writing – it went towards Being The Kind of Character I Used To Write About. suffice to say, it’s a long, twisty path strewn with paranoia, mental blowouts where I hide under tables and pull a foil hat down over my ears, pill-popping, caffeine intoxication, weapon-toting, UFO-Sex-Cult joining…

    … you get the idea. life got a lot more interesting.


  5. c

    Writing through is key. So i’ve heard.
    i’m not exactly the poster child for writerly perserverance.

    It’s great you realize that not every section of book is going to blow minds. There are always those peaceful bridges that carry the reader from one place to another.


  6. venus00

    I had a similar freak out a couple of days ago. What if I can’t do this? What if I’m not as talented as I think? What if I fail? It came after a surprisingly good day. I’m not even sure where it came from, but I knew what it was – fear. I was scared senseless. I had worked myself into such a state of agitation that my husband soon noticed and got me to confess my insecurities. His gentle words of encouragement and almost parental talking to, about not letting me give up on myself and not letting me quit when I’m so close,were all my spirit needed to get back on track. (and a good nights sleep) 🙂
    Aren’t we lucky to have such wonderful life partners?


  7. hierophant4582

    I’ve tried two or three different times to write a “novel”, and every time I run into a situation like yours. That story that seemed so cool at first, suddenly seems stupid and pointless…and I quit. I’m glad you fight through it.


  8. Sometimes fighting through it is all one can do. It sure beats throwing in the towel.


  9. Welcome Ken. Come back anytime. Your blog is a great idea, good luck with the publishers 🙂

    Paul, yes, ‘oh well’ is a good one if you’re tough! He’s not much of a beer drinker (I know, I found the only Aussie male in Australia who doesn’t like beer or football! YAY), but he’s getting my dad’s awesome pasta sauce tonight, will that do?!

    One Penny – that’s totally hilarious! And great advice by the sound of it – I’ll give it a go!

    Dok, what can I say? There’s no-one like you, you’re adorable… I do think, what with the interesting life you’ve created, you should give it another whirl? (And check out Ken’s site – I think you might like his stuff.)

    C, wisely put my dear.

    Venus! How fantastically lovely to see you! I’ll have to come over and check out all your news! And yes, I wholeheartedly agree, we’re VERY lucky 🙂

    Hiero, it is hard to keep going when you get that attack of doubt, but you just have to push through. Either that, or if you just know deep down that it’s not working, you do the even harder thing and start again.

    Thanks Evyl, very true.


  10. No shit. Seriously, it’s like five of one in the morning and I just finished cleaning my kitchen. For no apparent reason, well, I guess the reason being that I’m not getting anything written and I just had to get something accomplished.

    Good for you for getting on with it, though.


  11. Hi,

    Cheers for visiting my blog 🙂

    I also did the 1000 words a day thing. The way I stuck to it was telling myself if I didn’t get it done it’d be 2000 tomorrow. Easy.

    What Varuna residency are you going on? It’s an amazing place. And Peter Bishop is an insightful, emotionally intelligent individual.



  12. One Penny Profiles


    Thanks a lot for stopping by and taking the time to read my stuff. I’m glad you like it.

    From: onepennyprofiles@wordpress.com


  13. Write on!

    i did take the liberty of passing on an award to you over at my place. feel free to play along, or not.



  14. Oh Chris, I empathise (it’s good having a sparkling kitchen though, yes?), good luck my friend!

    Hi LM, thanks for stopping by. I like your thinking. I did that to myself yesterday to try and get over the hump and ended up writing 2,200 🙂
    The Varuna residency is part of the LongLines program – I was the WA writer chosen for the 2 week residency. I saw that you’ve been through it too, so it’s great to hear how rewarding it is. I met Peter briefly at the Canberra Writers’ Festival and he did sound incredibly passionate.

    My pleasure One Penny. Maybe you can turn your username into a link so my readers can find you? Check her out peeps, she’s good 🙂

    Ooo, an award! Thanks Theo! I’ll pop round now 🙂


  15. romi41

    Are your taps actually as shiny as the taps in the picture? ‘Cause the taps in the picture are blinding me!!! 😉

    PS: I hope your taps floweth wildly again in the nearest future! 🙂


  16. Oh god yeah, Romi (of course bloody not, woman!).

    And thank you 🙂


  17. I think that was absolutely brilliant. Drawing the diagram of your novel on a big hunk of paper and going outside to write. And maybe it’s no comfort but we all hit the wall all think our stuff is shit, all go to clean the kitchen during writing strife. But it always come back. You are a writer, dear one, you aren’t about to lose that about yourself.



  18. What a lovely comment, thanks Annie. It’s so nice to be in this supportive blogging family of writers 🙂


  19. sandybarker

    too funny…
    today I brushed the cat because everything I wrote was dribble
    the cat is happy
    I am still writing dribble


  20. It’s an awful feeling that panic – I never thought of cleaning the taps though! Thanks! 🙂


  21. A happy cat will help with the writing, Sand… maybe…? 😉 Push on my dear, push on!

    Oscar, cleaning the taps is a wonderful release, trust me 😉


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