I’ve been buried in the middle of a book since last Friday . . . mine!
Remember a few weeks ago when I was jumping up and down, vowing this was the going to be the greatest book in the world?
I’d love to recapture that moment, brief as it was, because as of today my enthusiasm meter is registering 0.
So what to do? Here are my choices and they’re by preference.
1) Take a hike for sure, except it’s cold out there and threatening rain and I hiked yesterday and I’m kind of talking myself out of bundling up and striking out again, aren’t I?
2) Read somebody else’s book, preferably one that’s an award winning novel, so I can “eat my heart out.”
5) Revise something old so I can realize how badly written it was and how much gooder I write now.
6) Build a fire. (You know what that’s for, right?)
I’m up to #5 and my desk has almost disappeared under the fall out of today’s labor.
When you’re stumped or when you’ve lost the through line in your W.I.P. what’s your plan for getting back on track? Send me something, anything. Help!
I love your "realness" in blogging this process, having no clue what the ending is (in more ways than one? :))When I'm stuck, concentrating on character motivation helps. What would she do next and why? Also, rereading to see what plot threads may have been dropped and do they need to come in again right about now? A book I'm reading now touts the benefits of writing a first draft fast and hot because creativity soars. I'm tempted to try this with my WIP, but it's so out of the box for me…
Doreen McGettigan says
I'm a bit stuck myself now..I have been cleaning out closets and boxes in the basement..for some reason getting rid of clutter makes me want to write..
C. Lee McKenzie says
Thanks, Paul. You're right. I'll put it aside and approach it from another angle or maybe wait until my head clears.
I have been in this spot before and thanks for reminding me. Much appreciated.
I'm sorry that you are stuck.
I'd set the ms down for a while, work on something else or not anything at all. Or, do some free writing about the MC or main conflict in the story.
And, have you been in this spot before? Did it pass? Did you work through it? If you have worked thru difficult spots like this I think it's good to remember that you've been here before and that you worked thru it.
Good luck. I know it's not easy.
C. Lee McKenzie says
Shelving, jumping up and down, reading, euphoric meltdown, watching movies, self-talk. I'm making notes here.
What's so absolutely helpful is that you've all been there and "get" what I mean. My family only "gets" that it's time to skirt quietly past my office and say nothing about my hair.
If I really can't work on it, I do something else for a few days, and inevitably it calls me back. Another trick I try is writing about what I'm doing – asking myself what needs to happen next and writing answers to my questions – sounds crazy but this self-talk in writing usually gets me started again.
Bish Denham says
Sometimes if I'm stuck, I put it away for a while. Other times I jump up and down screaming while tearing my hair out. :O
Joanne Johnson says
I just finished my WIP and had two days of euphoria (this is the best thing I've written) followed by the realization I have to revise the whole thing. I am now convinced the whole thing is utter poo while knowing deep in my heart it isn't. ARGGGHHHH!!!
Leigh Brescia says
(lol) We're so emo. I shelve it for a few days, then read books and watch great movies. I always seem to come back to it. 🙂
You can do it!
I've been pretty productive in the last few days and it's continuing thankfully.
But if I am stumped, I do set it aside for a few days. Then get my butt in gear and get to it!
C. Lee McKenzie says
You're right! I need my buds. Thanks.
As to the quality of my writing, I may have a lot to say about that while I'm tuning up my creative side of the head.
Tricia J. O'Brien says
Eeep. I know that place. All you can do is divert yourself for awhile. I was thinking of browsing through magazines looking for my characters or their hideouts. I've been meaning to do that anyway. Sometimes positive comments from my crit buddies will get me juiced up again.
Stina Lindenblatt says
I love your suggestion #5. My writing is much gooder too. I hope.