backwards and forwards

What I really struggle with in my writing is process and structure.

I know I really need to develop my own practice and am stumbling towards that, having just discovered the concept of the ‘outline’ (not yet fully sure what that means but know it exists) and the ‘timeline’ (more self-explanatory).

What this means is that I don’t really know what to do when I sit down to write. I have no routine, no rhythm, only ever more polished and sophisticated forms of procrastination of which this blog is almost certainly one.

Others include web shopping and surfing, walking the dog, messing up the children’s social  lives, messing up my social life and making lists of things I should (and shouldn’t) be doing.

At the moment, for example, I am torn between:

1) wanting to move on with the work

2) needing to submit the first 2,000 words as an assignment for my writing course (the beginning has been severely criticised by my writing group and I accept those criticisms)

3) wanting to reinstate some features of an early draft which I now regret ditching

4) watching Inception DVD for educational purposes of course

Or should I just write an outline first? And what is an outline, exactly?

Ah, yes, going round in circles round in circles in circles … and I haven’t even begun on structure.

Cathy x

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing
5 comments on “backwards and forwards
  1. cesamilton says:

    this happens to me a lot . im not a writer . im an artist . but the processes are the same . i think the idea is the thing and an outline is a piece of writing about your idea . about what the story is that you want to tell . about specific ideas and scenes which may seem unconnected and random but which will altogether make sense . i do that for at least two or three weeks and make a sort of scrapbook of ideas specific to the story lines . i write down every idea . i hav a superstition that if i dont write down my ideas they will become discouraged and leav and someone else will hav my ideas . so every idea i hav is important and significant to me and points towards the next and somewhere along that line is inspiration and energy which eventually becomes a piece of work which makes me feel very happy .

  2. what a wonderful comment, thank you cesa … cx

  3. andy bloom says:


    Maybe use some software out there which helps order visual learners…
    I use Mindnode to outline and Omnigraffle to sequence… admittedly I don’t use them for creative tasks but there might be goodies for writers…
    I hope you’re well and jolly.


  4. Ditto problem. Love that first buzz of getting some words down. Hate having to structure anything. I’d like to believe it’s a genetic malfunction, but am beginning to think it’s probably just laziness.

    • I think Andy is on to something with learning styles. I was thinking about my daughter who very much likes to go her own way at school, even in maths and science where graphs and equations have to be done to protocols. I think some of this may be because of the way she learns (which I don’t know enough about). But if she’s struggling with the dominant learning/teaching culture that could lead her to give up on it and transfer her energies to something she finds more rewarding and which she feels she gets status from – beign different (sound familiar). Actually your posts on moodle and camilla’s made me think about myself in this way too. Perhaps me being differnet in my writing and taking risks is just my way of compensating, of ducking any kind of engagement with the actual tasks whcih I’m a bit scared of and don’t really understand or something. Anyway, food for thought … Cxxx

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