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.