Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Letting Go

I've gone through an unusual phase of writing recently (although probably not too unusual for beginning writers). I have become stuck. And it's not just writer's block. It's more like writer's panic. I have read in numerous places that you have to "let go" and just write. Don't worry about how it sounds, how it reads, whether it's good or not...just write, just write, just write.

Ironically, though, the more I learn about writing, and what makes something good, the more I panic and freeze when I try to put a story down. That's happened just this week on my Meg story. I started, got halfway through and said to myself, "Yuck, self. What are you doing? This is so not where you wanted this to go, self. Go sit in a corner and think about what you have done. Shame!"

I've got to work on subverting the perfectionist within and just letting my mind wander. I know it can be wrangled back together in revisions, so why is it so hard to let go?

I think part of my problem is patience. I'm at the point where I want to see some concrete reward for all my work up to this point. My rational side tells me I will probably have to wait longer. "But if I come up with that one humdinger, you may just get noticed!" my irrational side shouts. So I freeze. I sit at the computer and freeze...hoping the humdinger will ooze from my veins through the keyboard.

And it's even harder for picture books, I think. There's a tightness to picture books that sometimes stifles my shifts at the computer. In my mind, I'm wanting this story to be narrow of focus, filled with images, easy to read. Instead, I get this long narrative that meanders. How do I get this to 32 pages????

I think I'll go back to my corner and think it over.

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