I’ve almost completed the second week of a new job. My everything hurts. The people are nice and the hours are good, the dog isn’t left for too long and technically I have time to work on my novel. Technically! It takes an hour and a half and three buses to get home, I eat lunch and walk the dog(or else he walks me) I get home with all good intentions, spending all day thinking about writing/editing/reading about writing and then just as I sit down in front of my laptop my brain pulls down the shutters and turns out the lights.
I’m trying hard not to make excuses, neither getting up at 6am or being on my feet for a good portion of the day!
I hate starting a new job, I’ve done it so many times within my temping days, I always feel so paranoid I’ll look stupid if I don’t take in everything I’m taught. It’s seems that even when you’re new people just expect you to remember everything and just get on with it. My job is fairly simple(a plus because I was hoping to save my brain power for my book) and by far the least complicated role I’ve ever had and that’s fine by me because it’s not for forever but I don’t want my colleges to think that this is all I do/know. People assume that since I look young, I am and have little experience and I just want to reel off my employment history just to prove what I’m capable of but I hold my tongue because I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging or offend people who have roles that are less complicated/important than my previous roles when they are in positions above me.
The other thing that gets to me is time. I’m supposed to have plenty of it since it’s part-time hours but it speeds by before i’ve realised anything has happened. I’m trying extremely hard to fit everything in and I’m wondering how people with kids and other commitments make it work when I can’t seem to balance writing, dog, cooking and cleaning. The changes in routine are crazy, I’m overwhelmed at how a new routine has completely thrown me. I feel really out of control trying to fit things in as and when and feel like I don’t know if I’m coming or going. This new intake of knowledge is surely pushing stuff out the other side since I’m coming home and doing a decent impression of a zombie.
Shouldn’t that be downhill? I had this strange notion that once I’d written the first draft of my novel everything magically fall into place and just flow. I have no flow! Every time I open my document I’m overwhelmed by how bad things are looking and get stressed that it’s just not good enough. I’m going through my ‘novel’ chapter by chapter, slowly improving what I originally thought was good and made prefect sense but doesn’t, I’m surprised at how quickly my draft it’s starting to flesh out without much effort, I imagine the backspace button on my keyboard will be worn away long before the final draft.
The problem I’m having is complicated, I have an idea in my head, I have a scene, dialogue etc but when i come to work on my novel it all seems to dissolve. The pages just don’t seem to be flowing with ease like they do in ‘real’ books. I read something and wonder why I’m not writing dialogue in the same way. I have dialogue that I’m semi happy with(at this stage)but struggle to find convincing ‘action’/thoughts to lead/follow the speech. It all seems very wooden. How do you naturally do this? How do I make the scenes come to life so you can really visualise them? I’m having scary visions of having to go through the whole draft and then add all this later since I don’t seem capable to write it convincingly at the time.
I can’t seem to get past this, all I can think of to do is plow on or I’ll never get anywhere but at the same time i feel like I’m going through chapters ‘improving’ them except not really finishing each one since I’m not convinced the dialogue is good enough.