Getting Over a Writing Obstacle

Whew! This weekend I got over a big writing obstacle that was keeping me crazed for the last several months.

(Well, really, I haven’t been writing over the last several months because it’s been the holidays, and my focus is quite usually elsewhere from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.)

But anyway, my Fin and Giselle story STILL has no ending, and has been sitting sort of stagnant on my computer because there was something about it I didn’t like. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was, but I knew it was contributing to my inability to end it properly. I finally decided that the problem showed up around Chapter 14 — about at the 40% mark. I rewrote Chapter 14 once in October, another time in November, but still wasn’t happy.

But over the weekend, I reread a previous part and had a sort of light-bulb moment. I went back to the original copy (grrr. Hate it when that happens. But I save all my cut scenes in a “Deleted Scenes” file, just in case. Someday I may make short stories out of all that stuff!) And then I rewrote parts of the original scene with some greater internal monologue that I think made the story better. I’ve also introduced two new characters in this second draft that are causing me a bit of grief now, but I think they work better, too. They brought some extra conflict into this middle portion of the book — and more conflict in the traditionally “sagging middle” is always welcome, right?

So … onward toward the ending!

And sorry to ramble in a way that probably makes no sense. I feel like I’m speaking in code. But, as I’ve mentioned before, that’s the problem with writing — you get a little lost in a world that makes sense only to you. But this weekend felt like a great breakthrough — I just wanted to share!

For those of you who are writers out there, how do you get over writing obstacles?

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3 thoughts on “Getting Over a Writing Obstacle

  1. I am not a writer per se, but I have written many papers in my work. There was the preparation of proposals, sales presentations, introductions of new products to potential customers. In These, you have to tell a story and have it all tie together smoothly. You introduce yourself(company), give a little history, but always relevant to your customer’s need/problem/area of interest. Then you have to tie in your product/service and finally the costs, but in such a way that it shows lower costs and long term savings for them. Operations are to be easier, performance better, lower error rates, etc. This also included diagrams, charts, drawings, etc. These write-ups can take a few hours to a couple of weeks. In short it has to be informative and hold the reader’s/listener’s attention and make them say “I want/need that”, not too much different than an author writing a book/story to sell. And much like yourself and other writers, we do/did get writer’s block sometimes and there was always a due date attached to these, which put a lot of pressure on those of us putting them together. So you had to have the finished document ready to submit/present by the due date or you wouldn’t be considered. In the industry, you didn’t keep a job for long if you didn’t make sales or didn’t make it to the sale. “No tickee, no washee”. So now back to the writer’s block. Oh, sometimes it was so difficult to try and guess the mindset of those that would read/listen to your work and make a decision to go with you. I would find myself writing the same two sentences over and over and over again. Sometimes just coming up with the proper title was overwhelming. I sometimes just got up and walked around the building talking to myself, if at home, maybe had a glass of wine. Worked a crossword puzzle, something to totally distract my mind. If not, then you stay in the same rut, never coming out of it. I would maybe read a magazine. Then when the mind cleared, I would start that area over from scratch. Sometimes I write down anything even if I knew it was going to stay, but at least I had something down, a place holder. I would highlight it, because I knew it needed more work or “re-write”. I found that the adrenalin rush got wilder as I got closer to the deadline/due date and that I could function/perform better under that circumstance. The other thing I found was that when I was finished with the project, it was like a giant weight was lifted off me, I felt like I was floating in air and stayed that way until the next one come around, which was usually the next day or a matter of hours.

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