So late last spring I started another novel. I got a quarter of the way in and the story stopped for me. A dead halt. It had been dying a slow death for most of that time. I’d sit at the computer and maybe get a small fraction of my normal words. It was painful writing. I felt relieved to take a break over the summer and write short stories.
During my break from the novel, I realized I had been writing it from the viewpoint of the wrong character. Okay then. So in early October, after the back to school rush ended and the dust cleared from reorganizing my entire bloody life, I went back to the novel and began again. From the other character’s viewpoint. Writing went along okay for a few days, not great though. Then it ground to a stop. Again. It was a little farther down the story line, since I started at a different point, but still painfully slow writing.
Then I got a nudge from another trusted writer, who’s also a brilliant teacher. I was thinking about the story too much. I needed to get back deep down in the character’s head and follow her step by step. And trust that the plot would show up as usual.
So I did. And the story came back to life. And is moving forward again. And feels like it has somewhere to go. Which is how I normally write, trusting my unconscious to bring the story forward, and it always works. I needed to be reminded of that.
Which is a reflection of my life. When I sit around thinking too much I get frustrated, depressed, angry, etc. Why isn’t my life going the way I want? Why isn’t this (big event, garden work, child behavior, etc.) happening in a reasonable way? Why, why, why? My brain can think its way to becoming a hamster on a wheel in no time. It’s just that talented.
But when I am able to stop thinking, (rolls eyes and snorts) and let all that crap go and just do the work, I feel much less paranoid, worried, hopeless and helpless. Things get done, the world shifts and moves forward. Life flows again.
Sometimes I just have to learn the same lesson over and over and over. Wondering how many times I’ll have to learn this one before I finally get it? Okay, will stop thinking about it and go do something.
Really, I’ll just stop…