Monday, February 4, 2013

Letting go to grow

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a total control-freak. I'm also stubborn to boot. While these two tools can be great for reaching my writing dreams--I definitely won't be quitting--they can be detrimental to my sanity. Sometimes these qualities even jeopardize the very dreams I'm too stubborn to give up. By clinging so tight to making one project completely perfect, I risk losing some other great ideas screaming to be heard.

I know this makes no sense, so let me elaborate. Lately my writing has felt like this.

 I've revised, and revised, and revised until I couldn't see straight, yet the story just wouldn't come together. I found I'd run into a very solid wall. (For those of you wondering, no, it didn't feel good.)
My days progressed in patterns of outlining, again, endless rounds of revisions, and wanting to cry every time I even thought of writing. (As one who wishes to make this a profession, not a good place to be.)

Then, after another near tear inducing critique round of my project, I had a great realization. What if I put that WIP in the drawer, and worked on something else for awhile? Huh, now there's a brilliant idea.My perfectionist nature immediately tried to convince me that would be admitting defeat--a big no-no. But the desperate, stifled creator screamed for me to give it a try. 

So, with much internal debate, I've set aside a project I've dedicate years of effort towards in order to work on something fresh and new. And, lo and behold, a miraculous thing happened. Ideas started flooding my brain. I was up for nearly two days straight just jotting down notes and scenes for a variety of new characters, scenes, and stories that were pent up far too long. I think of writing more like this:
(Big difference from the earlier me.)

I know it isn't easy to let go of a project, especially when you've dedicated a ton of hours and tears to the stupid thing. But, sometimes, that is just what you and your future dreams of being an author, might require. You are not admitting defeat, you are not giving up, and you are definitely going to make that particular WIP shine one day. That days just isn't today. I'm so excited to start work on the plethora of new stories swimming in my brain, and grow as a writer and a person.

What do you think? Have you reached a mental wall on your WIP? What do you do to get over those roadblocks to writing?

Happy Writing!

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