Keeping the veggies, potatoes and meat separate
Sometimes, especially during th holidays when your mind is being pulled and tugged a dozen different ways, writing becomes difficult. I often find myself looking at my latest few pages with distaste. “Didn’t I write that same line in my last novel? Why should he/she character want to do that?” I play with the words like veggies on my plate when I was a child, as if pushing them around endlessly would either make them go away or magically change them into a second dessert. It never happened.
As a writer, you need to write and sometimes the words just won’t come. It’s not writer’s block, it’s more like writer’s post nasal drip – the words come slowly and often only after a loud, often painful, sneeze. My prescription – STOP!
Yes, don’t mess up your plate. Keep the veggies, potatoes and meat separate, neat in their own little sections of the plate. Forcing yourself to write can waste time and induce blockage. Take the time to re-read your story, slowly and word by word. Let what you have written flow through you like a cup of warm chicken soup. Your hazy mind will remember the rhythm of your writing. Your hand will remember how to form the words you desire. Soon, relief will spring forth as a passage worthy of the writing gods of Olympus (Or New York).
I often work on several novels at the same time. Even then, outside forces beat me down until it becomes a chore to write something worthwhile. DOn’t let outside influences choose your words or mood, unless, of course, they carry you where you want to go. Set it aside, play music, dance, roll in the snow (I live in Tucson and rolling in the cactus can be dangerous). Enjoy that life you lead outside of writing and maybe some of the that joy will bring new life into your pages.