Little Victories

I’ve posted on this blog before about the dreaded Writer’s Block (https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/the-block/).  It’s a an affliction that plagues every writer, no matter how experienced or how many books they have under their belt.  I’m in the process of working on my third and for the past few days, I’ve hit a roadblock, wondering how to transition scenes while keeping the story flowing.  Transitions have never been my strong point.  In fact, I’m having a difficult time figuring out how to transition into my next paragraph.

Too often, I hear about writers feeling down on themselves because they’re stuck, or because their writing doesn’t come as naturally to them as it does to others.  The thing is when you read other writers’ work, you’re reading their completed project.  This project should read like it all came naturally and easily (unlike this awkward blog post, for example).  But I can almost guarantee that that finished book did not come without impatience, frustration, outtakes, and maybe even a little bit of booze (if the writer is over 21, of course).  

In my experience, outtakes are the most frustrating.  I’ll write and write and write, get a couple hundred words in, and realize that everything I just wrote has no place in my story, or that it will take the story in an entirely different direction than it needs to go.  Sometimes, these new directions are great ideas, but sometimes, they just need to go.  And let me tell you, it is HARD to take everything you just worked so hard on and delete it (though I never fully delete it, I move it to the “outtakes” document), not only because I just spent a good portion of my workday on it, but because it lands me right back to where I started.  And more often than not, it’s one of those awkward spots that trips me up and gets me stuck.  

The good news is that writer’s block does not last forever unless you let it.  Last night, after hours (yes, it can take hours) of staring at the screen and trying out all the typical transitions, my story finally found it’s way back on track.  It was a small paragraph, I think only three sentences, but it worked and it feels right.  Best of all, I’m happy with it and I can now continue on with the story the way it’s supposed to be written.  

It’s funny, but with writing, even the smallest victories are to be celebrated and appreciated.  Writing is not for the faint of heart.  It’s a huge commitment and it can be an enormous pain in the neck.  But it’s worth it.  In the end, it’s always worth it.  

 

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20 thoughts on “Little Victories

  1. Jackie you have a wonderful positive attitude towards your writing! I like that you created an Outtakes document. This frees your mind from the worry of losing something you just wrote and allows you to concentrate on the task ahead. Very cool! 😀

  2. Here here, Jackie. I also have an “outtakes” document, but mine is called “Cut Pieces,” and this document will usually approach, if not exceed, the page count of the actual finished product (after all of the edits and revisions have been made!).

  3. Yeah, one of the first things I learned when I was getting my English degree was that you’re going to hit walls, and you’re going to cut a lot of grizzle off your writing.

    So I’ve got 200 pages of story. But if I added together ALL of the writing that I’ve done for this story it would be like 500 pages. I’ve cut or rewritten that much. Another 200 page story I’m working on is the same. I’ve redrafted short stories several times, cut, added, and once even used an X-ACTO knife in frustration to cut huge chunks of useless dribble out of my own creative writing.

    This is all the nature of writing, though.

  4. Not sure if it was “only” a writers block with me when I stopped writing my upcoming new book after publishing my very first book in March of this year. But I also had a very bad shoulder (called frozen shoulder) since January of this year and couldn’t just keep going in hacking my keyboard without pain. So I guess for this time I was off the hook. But today it hit me, sitting in front of my PC and wondering what’s going on why I am not starting my new blog ” Food for Thoughts & Opinions” and before I was actually finished wondering I was typing my first blog, well mostly an introduction what the reader can expect. There, the ice was broken and I just have to decide which subject I will blogging about. Well, I guess that can take up some time, but then again, who knows? 🙂

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