If you’re of an old enough vintage, you may recall a song by the band Orange Juice where they suggest you might like to rip it up and start again. Well, metaphorically speaking, that is what happened to some of my writing this week. It’s a sad tale but not one without its upside.


You see, I started a little writing experiment last year and had hoped to complete it come the Christmas break. But it wasn’t finished by then and, as I always like to take a complete break for ten or so days over the Christmas and New Year period, I set it aside aiming to complete it this month.

Whenever I set aside a piece of work for more than a handful of days, I always have to re-read everything I’ve written before I can get going with it again. My brain clears out the memory banks and there’s nothing there for me to refer to.

So, I duly started re-reading this particular work in progress and an unpleasant realisation soon dawned on me. It wasn’t working. What I was trying to do was a little out of the ordinary and the nature of the story I had chosen to tell simply wasn’t a good fit for the format I was working to.

I wrote a couple of hundred more words, in any, case and added a few notes here and there, then stepped back for a day to allow my sub-conscious to get to grips with things. By the time I woke up the next morning I knew for certain that what I was doing was dead in the water. Time to abandon ship.

It’s always disappointing whenever you find that a story isn’t working. Occasionally, things can be rescued with some generous re-modelling, but other times, like this one, there is no way out and it’s time to move on. In fact, the sooner you accept this, the better, since it frees you to start work on something else.

In fact, this tale had something of an upside. When I analysed why I thought things weren’t working, I realised it was largely down to the type of story I was writing and that, if I was to opt for a different type of story, my experiment could still be a success. So, I shall return to my experiment with a new story later in the year, hopeful of a successful outcome this time, having learned a valuable lesson from my failure.

PS. I know I’ve avoided saying anything about the nature of my experiment. That’s through choice. It’s too terrible to share here, incomplete as it is. I must await a successful conclusion, then I can launch into the world, where it can turn its face to the sun and bask in its warmth.

PPS. Here’s a link to the Orange Juice song Rip It Up



Image from Wikipedia.









Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>