Saturday, November 7, 2009

How Do You Keep the Music Playing?

Today's Word Count: 2061
Total: 14, 579

Today went pretty well.  Yesterday, not so much.  But writing is much like that.  There are days when the words flow and flow, and there's seemingly no effort involved.  Even that nagging little editorial voice in your head seems to have gone on hiatus.  Those are the good days.

Then there are the rest of them.  Nothing seems right, your plot comes to a screeching halt and that annoying voice keeps telling you that it's all pure drivel, anyway!  What to do then?

Everyone deals with blocks in their own way.  You have to find what works for you.

One approach is to just plow on, anyway.  Just spew words, without regard for what they are or even if they make sense.  For NaNovelists, this has the advantage of adding to your word count, and possibly not letting you get too far behind.  The disadvantage is that it leaves you with quite a mess to clean up later.  Of course, sometimes it does work and you find that after a few sentences of utter nonsense, the ideas are flowing again and you're right back on track.

The strategy that usually works best for me is to walk away for a while.  Do something else.  Get some laundry done.  Walk the dog.  Even take a shower.  Just get away from the computer and the novel for a bit;  I find that sitting at the desk, even if I'm surfing the Net or playing games, just reminds me that I should be writing- which, of course, I should.  But if it isn't working, no matter how hard I've tried, I can't force it and I get frustrated with the whole thing.  Walking away for a while helps to clear my head, gives me a chance to put the current problem (plot hole, character development, something I know I need to research but don't have time, etc.) on the back burner and let it simmer a bit.  That will often cause my subconscious to work around the issue all by itself.  And then I can get back to the work at hand, namely, getting that novel written!

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!  What's yours?

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