Stuck, Redux

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I’ve been working on my WIP2 for two weeks now, and I’m having So. Much. Fun.

I do have a confluence of inspiration and motivation helping me out, thanks to conversations with my lovely writing friends*, and to life in general (remind me to tell you all about my introduction to resin one day).

Mostly, I’ve decided to slow down and really think about what I write. I have decided to give myself a hiatus from scribbling ANYthing down, including journaling in favor of taking the time to write out a scene and flesh it out as I write out my draft. I would sketch out a scene or a few scenes, and then go back over them again and again, and see how they read with the rest of the story so far, adding, deleting, and revising lines as I go.

Before, having the sketch of a scene was good enough and enabled me to move forward in the story. But, I inevitably get confused about next steps or where to go, and just skip ahead just so I can get to the end of the story. Which was a great confidence booster for WIP1: I made it to The End. Admittedly though, most of what I’d written had no value in the long term. The Hot Mess I’m left with would basically need to be rewritten.

Now, as I’m writing WIP2, I wait, think, and consider my writing as I write it out on the computer. I know that sounds elementary, but you have to understand. I’m a consummate scribbler. I’ve been writing notes and filling out journals for as long as I remember. Sometimes, I write whole scenes, and even once, a whole chapter, on index cards and sticky notes. Writing directly on the computer (I thought) was a death knell to my creativity.

Well, as I have discovered, being stuck and writing at a slower pace (and even waiting to write) does not lessen my creativity. I don’t have to be afraid of forgetting a cool idea or a cool thought. In fact, keeping the story in my head (for now) has helped me think it through one step at a time. I’m usually dying to get on my computer to write even a few words or pages, even after a really long day at work. (Who needs sleep? I’ve basically adopted Thomas Edison’s lifestyle of catnapping my way through a creativity bout.)

Not scribbling every little idea that comes to me while I’m away from the WIP has freed me to reread what I’ve written and expand on scenes, remember buried plot points, start new scenes, move things around. Basically, has made this draft’s beginning stronger than any other first draft I’ve written (and never finished). And, I don’t get discouraged when I’m “blocked” because when I reread what I’ve written, I can always find an idea or thought that I can expand on in a new scene, which feeds other new scenes.

So, I may not be chugging along as quickly as I normally do during moments of rough draft inspiration. But, so far, I’ve written more valuable words for much longer, and that’s worth more to me than phenomenal word counts.

Once I’m halfway through the story, in other words, once the story becomes too big to see all at once (as I can right now), I can see the need to jot down scene sequences Scrivener style to help keep it all straight.

For now, I’m enjoying this story-telling experience. Honestly, I’m still in awe that I’m adding to WIP2, and that it’s growing and evolving. Fingers crossed that I will finish this draft soon, and still look at it with this same loving glow.

I’ll leave you all with this motivating quote I found from Janet Reid aka, Query Shark:

“Writing can be learned.
Syntax can be taught.
Determination is yours and yours alone.”


*conversations including, but not limited to, Michele, Carol, Kayla, Melissa…thank you!