Inane Thoughts: Diary of a Frustrated Writer

To start off I’d like to thank everyone for the positive comments about my short story. It’s genuinely heart-warming to know that you’ve taken the time out of your day to read the story and to let me know that you liked it. This may be because there is no “dislike” or “am ambivalent to” button on Facebook. Now I just need to finish the longer-than-a-paragraph short story that I’ve been working on for about a month.

I finished the beginning and end of this story after a few hours, but this only comprises about 3,000 words. I have a nagging feeling that, as much as I’d like to break free of the structural restrictions of the traditional beginning-middle-end structure in the large majority of literature, I feel that this should not be used as an excuse for indolence. Not having a linear structure does not mean that you just don’t write words. Call me a quaint traditionalist, but it seems to be that the middle tends to be a rather crucial element in any story, whether or not it is linear. For instance, I would imagine that if you stood up at a funeral and said: “Hello, we are here to remember Dave Simpson. Dave was born in Dunstable Hospital in 1954, then sometime later, quite recently in fact, he died in Papua New Guinea”, you would not go on to be a popular figure at the wake. People might, in fact, be rather furious at you. Nor can I claim to be from the Flaubertian school of perfectionism, claiming that I am taking my time because I am looking for ‘le mot juste’ – this would seem both hugely hubristic and plain wrong. I am not Gustave Flaubert. I’d be lucky to be Gus Hedges (yeah, that’s right, I’m dropping slightly anachronistic Drop The Dead Donkey references).

So, in summary, I should probably quit writing this blog about not writing my short story and, well, write my short story. Although before this I should probably eat some lunch and then wait a while before leaving the office where I do my actual job. Not actually simply waiting though, I will of course shuffle some papers around my desk and type furious at my keyboard, tutting.

3 Responses to “Inane Thoughts: Diary of a Frustrated Writer”

  1. charlottebrown Says:

    Advice? Skip the beginning, jump in at the middle and then end at the end.

  2. Sally Says:

    Hi Ewan have just spent the last half hour chuckling whilst reading your blog. A welcome end to a depressing day, being the first back at work. Noted the comment about putting down War and Peace – come on… its not that heavy – love that book in case you hadn’t guessed it.!!
    Also, should say your blogging puts mine to shame .. well my wordpress blog is more of a visual diary with very few words. I certainly dont have your gift for literal eloquence – is that even a description???
    best wishes sally .

    • chetantos Says:

      Thanks Sally!

      I really appreciate the encouragement – whether it’s a description or not, I’ll take it!

      I’ll definitely pick up War & Peace again, but I unfortunately have the hardback copy, which means it is a bit hefty to carry around on the train. I’m really enjoying it, even though I’m only 400 pages in. There are few writers who draw up characters as complete as the ones Tolstoy creates.

      Good luck with your own blogging – we’ll have to discuss it next time we meet up.


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