Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why oh WHY am I not making progress?

The last few weeks have been busy to say the least.  From my anniversary, to a work trip to London that required 12+ hour days, and Venessa & Ryan's upcoming wedding this weekend (hi guys!), plus a large amount of regular work, there just haven't been enough hours in the day.  Add to that a minor case of writer's block and you have a recipe for slow progress on the novel.

Very slow progress on the novel.

But I think I've finally figured out my real problem.  I'm too Type A.

See, here's the thing, I don't really have writer's block, it's more like writer's overload.  I'm getting to the big scenes in the novel: my hero's first shift to her new furry form, her brother's realization of what's happened to her and the ultimate betrayal.  I'm at the good part!  I know where I want the story to go and I should be writing like mad, unstoppable as my fingers fly across the keys.  But I'm not. Because I want it to be perfect.  And it's not.  At least not yet.

I keep changing my mind on the details of the scene.  When do I want the brother to show up?  How should he react?  What's the scenery like?  Where is everyone standing?  Etc. Etc. Etc.

As one blogger friend wrote after I commented on her post about the causes of writer's block; "Leave the scene alone and work on another! If you re-write to much to early, you can be in danger of deleting some gems."

I need to take her advice.  It's good, solid advice.  I need to sit down and pound at the keyboard for a few solid hours and move past this hurdle.  Edit later.

Unfortunately, that's much easier said than done.  First I need a few solid hours to work.  And I don't mean the 30-45 minutes sitting on the train, even though I'm often productive during that time.  What I really need is a complete afternoon or evening to put on the headphones and do nothing else but write. 

Once I manage to set aside the time, I need to force myself to keep moving and stop looking back to edit what's just been written.  It may not sound that difficult, but there's an emotional element to this particular scene that has to be expressed correctly or the whole thing is going to fall apart.  Of course I'm now justifying my own perverse need to get the scene just right and therefore not move past it.

I don't think I've entirely solved my issues yet, but the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

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