I started my new novel around mid November and was writing like a champ. Go me! I got right at 25,000 words in just a few short weeks. Words were flowing out of me in waves. I was patting myself on the back and thinking, at this rate, I’ll have my first draft down before Christmas!
Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Real life stepped in and derailed my writing for the last ten days. The holidays, Christmas shopping, gift wrapping, laundry, house cleaning. You know, the adult responsibilities we all have. I have not opened my manuscript since December 1st. That was, until yesterday.
I finally had some time, yesterday, to do some writing. I opened Scrivener, read over my last few paragraphs, poised my hands over my keyboard. And froze. Nothing came. Notta. Zilch. Zero.
I was at a very profound scene with a lot of conflict and knew the general direction I wanted to go, but my mind was blank. The problem was, over the last ten days or so, when I would get a wee bit of time to write, I knew it wasn’t enough to devote to the scene I was getting ready to tackle. So, I didn’t write at all. In doing that, I completely derailed my writing; stuck in the ditch. In about two feet of snow. And ice. And mud. (from spinning my wheels and all).
Yesterday, when I had enough time to sit down and justly devote to the scene, I had a sudden case of writer’s block. Being a ‘linear panster’, I can’t move on to the next scene. Being OCD, I can’t go back to the beginning and start reading in order to get into the story again. I will start editing and get completely consumed with fixing everything – and end up stuck in the same exact place I was already stuck in. Trust me, I’ve tried this.
So, doing what a lot of my writer friends do, I jumped on the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums and yelled for help. As usual, the folks on there came to my rescue and offered tons of great ideas to help get me pushed up out of that ditch.
I ended up getting 883 words written yesterday. While not magnificent (in any stretch of the imagination), it was words and all words count. (at least until the edit and revision) And, I have made a new goal: to write something every single day. Even if it’s just a sentence or a paragraph, something has to be written every day. It’s the only way I know not to let the flow of the story run off downhill and land me smack in a ditch.
Anybody have more suggestions for getting “unstuck”?