Wot I loved today: Accepting that I can’t polish a turd

© Eva Bell PhotographyIn one of my ‘Tips for bad writing days‘ blogs last year I wrote about the importance of letting go of an idea that is, frankly, shit. Any writer knows the feeling of trying to maintain a story line that is not only improbable in real life but completely incongruous with everything else in their novel. You know it’s not working; you’ve pushed it through twenty hoops – all to no avail, you’re lying awake worrying about it – and yet you can’t let it go! You’ve spent three weeks creating this turd! And so you polish it until it gleams . . . and then you turn it over and realise that underneath it’s still completely rank. Just for a second, you consider flushing it down the toilet. But – YOU’VE SPENT THREE WEEKS WRITING THIS!

You sigh, and resume polishing.

Then, one day the clouds clear and without warning, you have a big literary dump. You let go of that pointless, turd-shaped storyline. You hold your breath and delete eight thousand words and wait for hysteria to set in.

But it doesn’t. Suddenly, your life is lighter. Your insides are cleansed. Your novel is slim, toned and bursting with promise once more.

Today, friends, I had that dump. And it were bloody magic.

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