Yesterday was one of those days when I sat there in front of a blinking cursor and heard my friend's voice, "You're thinking too much." Diane, a beta reader, told me that a few months ago when I was rambling about how I need to cut out this and redo that in my WIP. She was on to something. I cut but didn't cut as much as planned. After all was said and done, I felt great about what I had cut from the WIP and posted that as a status on my facebook page. Since then, I've heard her voice loud and clear ring through my head causing me a healthy pause at the perfect moments. 
What exactly was I doing? For starters, I was thinking how I could make these two chapters spin differently. My protagonist sometimes tends to follow easily and then there are days she fights back. While attempting to write yesterday, I found I wanted to "force" the story my way. It wasn't going so well for me. Meanwhile, my protagonist was getting a bit more assertive that she really wanted to go quite an opposite path. 
Something didn't feel right and I knew it. I fought this way for an hour. Writing. Deleting. Writing. The cursor and I weren't getting along either! 
What did I do? I walked away. It was one of those days when I needed to get away from the computer and let the story wait. It isn't easy to do that but it was a day of letting go. Let the story come alive again tomorrow. My protagonist could wait. We would meet up tomorrow and collaborate. I would listen. However, I would decide because I know my plot and ending. The ending of my WIP won't change. It's just the daily writing that gets me there to that ending. 


Today is a new day to write. Just don't think too much. Let the story be.

What have you done when days like this happen? Do you walk away? Do you have tips or tricks that help you get through it? 
Please share!
 


Comments

06/21/2011 11:21

Sometimes, that is the best decision. Walking away can help you see your work in a fresh way. Good luck today, and try not to think too much!

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06/21/2011 11:41

Nice post. Given that I feel, as a writer, I am really taking dictation from my subconscious, my subconscious can't think or speak to me if I don't give it some quiet time.

I'm writing a short piece to read at my MFA residency next week, and the perfect structure/analogy for the piece came to me on a late afternoon when I shut down the computer and took a walk through a neighborhood I had never explored before. I didn't plan to think about the piece, the breakthrough just appeared.

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09/28/2011 06:31

Nice post. I know exactly what you mean. My characters tell me their story even to the extend of the ending. I never know how a story is going to end until I almost get there.

Walking away when you and your characters can't agree is a good thing to do. It gives you distance and a fresh start next time you look at your story.

What helps me oftentimes is a hot shower or some quiet time somewhere. Most importantly, take your mind off it. Then it will come to you just like that - all on its own. Especially in bed at night, or over night.

Good luck.

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09/30/2011 07:47

Hi, Crystal. Just wandering over from Twitter. My trademark saying is "write like the wind." Basically that means just let go, stop all the overthinking, and CREATE. Later, you can go back and "edit like an architect," like my writer pal Natalie Neal Whitefield says. It's a great strategy, very freeing! Best of luck with the WIP.

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    By day listen to voice of the customer / client loyalty. Rest of my life listen to my protagonist & write her story. YA fantasy, mystery #writer. Live w/ #DVT..

    Blog posts are Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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