My simplest rule for myself as a writer is: if I’m not having fun with a scene, I rewrite it until I am. If I can’t make it fun, it goes – Joe Hill
This past week was all about head banging against a wall. It was painful and for the first time in a while I felt really, really stuck. Normally my muse comes up with some sort of magic to fix whatever snags I identify along the way, but on this occasion the muse vanished and I was STUCK. I think it happened because I ignored the little feeling in the back of my head that said ‘I’m not sure that these new scenes you put in your outline are even necessary.’ Well how could they NOT be necessary? They had all the requirements for a scene! I also just spent weeks beforehand compiling a new outline for my rewrite that transformed my horrible first draft into a book I was actually excited to write about again so how could everything be wrong before I even wrote a single new word?
Going through the conflict arcs for my story really helped open my eyes to ‘that part’ which wasn’t running as smoothly as the rest – so I cut it. A few days later I even cut one of the new characters it introduced realizing he was stupid and not necessary. He wasn’t in my first draft and why on earth did I think he needed to be in this one? However, I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything new to put in place. How could someone with a crazy mind such as mine come up with NOTHING? I tried every trick I knew. I did some word building, free writing, index card shuffling, visited writing forums for inspiration and…nothing.
I realize now that I was trying too hard. I was also feeling quite flat from not leaving the house often enough and putting so much pressure on myself which resulted in the lack of balance in my life. Just being online was draining me. Everything was sucking out my soul – my disorganized work space, my messy bedroom, my lack of exercising.
So after giving myself permission to have crap ideas I managed to come up with cooler ones!
I spend last night writing out my scenes on large neon pink post-it notes and sticking it to the back of my door. I don’t know if it was the color, or just being in a different space that did it, but I was able to come up with ideas to fill the gaping hole in the middle.
I’ve decided to take it easy this week. I’ll look through the outline which I’m once again happy with but won’t rush into doing anything more with it. After all, I have an engagement party to pull off this weekend and fresh air to breathe!
Hopefully taking a healthier approach to revision will make my ideas sparkle all over the page once again. That’s the plan anyway!
This week is all about breathing and re-energizing.
Happy revising everyone and don’t forget to just breathe...and step away from all things social media and screens every once and a while. Feels so good.
Love and light,