Monday, November 7, 2011

Writer's Block is Serious Business


Hobbes isn't impressed
A few days ago, I had a mini-meltdown of the writing kind. Every time I tried to write, I couldn't. I would write a few sentences and then stop, because it all felt so wrong, and I couldn't figure out why. Was it my plot? Was it my characters? In all honesty, it scared me; I had never had this much trouble starting before, and I had never been so full of self-doubt before. 

The more and more I thought about it, the more stressed out I became, to the point that I was losing sleep over it. For a few days I was going to bed at 3:30 a.m. because my mind kept mulling over every possible way I could have gone wrong, and every possible way I could fix it.

I posted in my wonderful NaNoWriMo Google+ circle that I was having some troubles writing and I got some great advice, from killing a character, to relax a little, to stepping away from it for a while. What happened instead was I started to write whatever I wanted to write, and my mind went back to an idea I've been toying with for a while. And guess what happened? The words just started to pour out of me. It was magical.

I distinctly remember my first NaNo, and how much fun I had writing it, because I knew how it began, and I knew how it ended, so I just wrote the middle with no idea how it was going to go. And I had a ball. When I asked my mother for advice yesterday, she reminded me of how much fun I had with the first one (and it's the only one that's complete!). Then she said, "now you stress yourself out every November. You put too much pressure on yourself." Interesting. Am I really a pantser at heart? This so goes against my nature, but I'm willing to try it, if it means writing is fun again and I actually finish, instead of getting to the climax and stopping.

Considering the plot I started November with, I believe that I plotted myself into a box that I didn't know how to get out of. So I've put the original idea on the back burner, to give it time to boil down to the idea it started as; go in fresh when it's ready and when I'm ready.

But for now, I'm just going to work on the thing that's actually working for me.

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