Give yourself permission to absolutely SUCK!

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

.

Image

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!

image

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,

Anushka

xx

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Give yourself permission to absolutely SUCK!

  1. OMG – have you been reading my mind? Have you watched as I struggled, stalled, fiddled and finally gave up trying to cut anything I could from my over long novel? You must have known about the four chapters I must delete altogether, chapters that always, from the moment I wrote them, gave me that little uh-oh feeling. And, you seem to understand how even blogging overwhelms me this week.

    So, yes. Stepping back and breathing is a great idea. I know the ideas and solutions I need are out there, I’m just scaring them away with all my tension.

    And, I love the piano photo. Lovely!

    • I’m glad there are others out there who ‘get’ this. The break this week from revision has been so good. Just not having to get worked up about the scenes, and being frustrated takes a load off and has made me much more clear-headed! Must be harder cutting for a larger novel but I have no doubt in your ability to come up with something much better with your muse! It really goes to show that you HAVE to listen to that annoying niggling voice in the back of your mind even when you don’t want to. I hope you are feeling less overwhelmed and that the answers you need come to you 🙂 Let me know how you are coming along and don’t feel guilty by just needed a break.

      • Actually, I’m leaving for NC tomorrow for a week. I’m taking chapters 9-12 with me, and I’m going to try to figure out where to cut. Spending time with Mom is my first priority, however. I’m hoping when we’re at the beach (Yay!) my mind will clear. I’m optimistic. The beach is a mystical place!

  2. 🙂 I am thoroughly impressed by your approach! Those pink post-its look so lovely on your door, and it sounds like you have solved a lot of what’s not working for you.
    I think I know exactly what you refer to when you write about that little doubt that tells you–this isn’t quite right …
    It took me awhile to get the idea I needed to fill the empty spot though. I’m glad to hear that you found yours!
    And have fun at the party. 🙂

    • Thanks…just taking a break from the madness of organizing right now! I hope I’ve fixed my problem, but I think I’m just going to just sit on it this week and look at it again with fresh (well fresher) eyes next week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s