It’s dark and early this fine day, and yes, instead of sleeping, I’m up before the birds writing. Many times as a writer, I become frustrated with a story, and although I wouldn’t necessarily think of it as writer’s block, I guess in a way it is.
I’m involved in an upcoming anthology, and the due date is looming. The parameters around the story are a bit more defined than I’m used to, and, for some reason, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept. I struggled and struggled, putting it off until I knew I just had to sit down and start writing. Some words on the page are better than nothing. So, I wrote a short synopsis to help get me started. This is often how I begin a book. I write what I will put on the back cover first. This often stimulates ideas and helps me plot out the rest of the story.
Nope…that didn’t work here. It wasn’t the genre. I’m a multi-genre author and believe in my own heart that I can write anything given enough time and research, but for some reason this concept was eluding me. I’m not one to write within parameters. I never liked to follow a specific formula for a genre–okay I’m a rogue, what can I say?–so I suppose my brain was just refusing to cooperate. But this anthology means a lot to me, and I didn’t want to let my fellow authors down so I pressed on.
I often spin tales while I’m walking around the 72 acre lake in our subdivision, while I clean house (my absolutely least favorite chore), driving from place to place, or even in the line at the grocery store. My mind is always working. But alas, nothing for this particular tale.
Finally, I realized what was wrong. I was working too hard. I had a premise, I’d written the first 800 words, but had no middle or end. I was forcing the story. So…I gave up. I went to bed last night with the idea floating in my mind, just the briefest of thoughts, and fell asleep. Guess what? Around 4 am this morning, my eyes popped open and the entire story played out in my head. From beginning to end. The ENTIRE THING!
Now to those of you who aren’t writers and happen to stumble upon my blog, I’m not insane. This really isn’t that uncommon for us. We live with our characters and storylines rattling around in our minds all the time. Very often they sneak up on us and announce their presence. But my point in all of this rambling is to tell you from one writer to another….Relax.
The more you push and panic, the more frozen your brain came become. As in most things you do, taking a step back, breathing a deep breath, or, in my case, sleeping, allows the mind to gather its wits and refocus. So, fellow writers, when you find yourself in a similar position, in the words of Elsa of Disney’s animated Frozen…Let it Go! Let the idea float in your mind as your drift off to dreamland and perhaps the same thing can happen to you. I just Love It When a Story Comes Together.
What do you do to shake a story loose?
Look for my renegade, troublemaker of a story, Of My Blood, coming soon.