This is sort of a follow up of my last post (which I wrote a million months ago, apparently). So what have I learned about writing this week? Sometimes you have to plow through the writer’s block.
I’m a seat of the pants writer, meaning, I don’t create outlines. Which means writer’s block comes a lot easier to me than it would, say, to an outliner. This past week has been especially rough. I know where my story is going, but the scenes required to get me there just aren’t coming to me. Questions plague me in the middle of what are supposed to be heated or important scenes. How shall I write this scene? Is this scene truly necessary? Can I sum up the necessary components in a measly paragraph in the next scene? Should I make this scene longer? Slow it down? Speed it up?
So many questions. But I have to remember that this is a first draft. Anne Lamott says it best in her book Bird by Bird:
“The only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts. The first draft is a child’s draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and you can shape it later.”
I won’t know how to pace each scene/chapter until I reach the end and see the story as a whole. Then I can shape it. Then I can go through and make some serious revisions and rewrites.
So I take my pick and inch my way through the scenes that are required to carry me to the end of the story. I know that spark will come back. You know, the spark that inspires you to write until your fingers ache. It always does. For some reason, sitting on my swing outside, or going for a walk to contemplate my story just doesn’t do it for me. If I want to get past my writer’s block, I have to write past it.