"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Monday, May 23, 2011

Head, meet Wall

Have you ever head a song that you absolutely love, and then the radio stations get a hold of it and plays it so many times you would rather rip your own eardrums out before you listen to it again? There is nothing, I hate more than that. (well not literally there are plenty of things I hate more than that but you get the drift - big Petpeeve )

Anyway, this morning I made a decision to take a step back from my current work in progress. I've been stuck for a couple months, and I just keep pushing and pushing, trying to break through it but I'm getting nowhere. Hence the title of the post Head, meet Wall (over and over again). Its just time to take a step back and give myself a breather.


That being said, I'm not taking time off from writing I'm merely changing my focus. My plan is to work on outlining a different story I'm been fumbling around with in my head. It is completely different than my current wip. And when I say completely I mean COMPLETELY. I'm hoping the drastic change will help get the juices flowing again.


So my writerly peeps, has this ever happened to you? Have you ever had to make the decision to keep pushing or to take a step back? I only ask because this was a hard decision for me to make. I kind of feel like I'm surrendering and I don't like it. :/


20 comments:

Brynne said...

Surrendering? The way I see it, you can be ok with surrendering or you can change the prism you gaze thru to see it as something else. Changing course? Listening to your heart? Honoring a certain part of yourself? Whatever you do, my vote is that you feel good about it, that you let yourself be where you are with a deep inner knowing that you are always---right where you are meant to be.:)

C.M. Villani said...

Brynne - that's why I finally gave in. Because it had gotten to the point where it was more of a burden to keep pushing it. I wasn't enjoying it anymore.

This way I'm hoping when I do come back to it, things will be flowing better and the fun of writing it will return.

Kelly Hashway said...

I don't think you are surrendering. It takes intelligence to realize something isn't working at the time. Working on something new is a great idea. Besides, there's nothing that says you won't return to your previous WIP later--with fresh eyes--and be inspired.

C.M. Villani said...

Oh I certainly have all intentions on going back to it, Kelly. :) That's the only way I would have taken the step back to begin with. I'm the type of person who just can't give up. It's against my natural wiring to leave a story/project unfinished.

wosushi said...

Exactly what Kelly said. I've done that with other projects, so why not writing? Give your brain time to refresh with this new idea. Inspiration will strike again.

Nicole said...

for the love of writing...right. Thats what its about. If you aren't loving it, go love something else for a little while! Your too hard on yourself. :D

C.M. Villani said...

Wosushi - Here's hoping!

C.M. Villani said...

Nicole - hahahaha! I'm stubborn, is what I am. Well, fingers crossed. I'm hoping this goes well. :D

Miss Good on Paper said...

You are doing the best thing you can for your writing by taking a break. I suggest taking breaks to my students so much that they get tired of hearing me say it. I actually wrote a post about the 4 main benefits of writer's block a while back and one of the benefits is that it gives you a chance to take a break: http://missgoodonpaper.blogspot.com/2011/03/4-reasons-writers-block-is-good-thing.html

It isn't surrendering at all. =)

MuMuGB said...

Sometimes we just have to take a step back. We simply cannot keep pushing it all the time. You might come back to your actual project or you might find something better. That's just life, and it is tough. Good luck!

Scrollwork said...

Coincidentally, I had to take several steps back from writing my post this week—which was on stepping back from our circumstances when they begin to define/constrict us.

I think our heads were banging on the same wall. Feels good to stop doing that, doesn't it?

kario said...

It is hard to step back from something you're working on, isn't it? I sometimes worry that I won't get back to it, or I'll forget where I was going with it or I'll somehow lose the thread, but when I truly let go, I often find that the answer comes to me magically, like it was just waiting for the rest of the noise in my head to abate so that it can be heard.

Good luck!

Bella said...

I feel taking a break, not only from writing, but from whatever doesn't seem to be clicking for me at a designated time, makes for an opportunity to find new focus or inspiration. That said, I usually don't let the break extend itself indefinitely because I find I lose touch with what I wanted to accomplish in the first place. I think you're doing the right thing in following your instincts of stopping for a while and in the process, avoid frustration. Let us know how it goes! :)

C.M. Villani said...

MGOP - I like number 4 - Building confidence. I do have to say that I have found myself in similar situations before and I do feel more confident after I'm done. :D Well “Once more into the breach, dear friends. Once more!”

C.M. Villani said...

Muriel - truer words have never been spoken. :)

C.M. Villani said...

Scrollwork - you have no idea. :D

C.M. Villani said...

Kario - EXTREMELY hard. :) hahaha But that is exactly what I'm hoping for.

C.M. Villani said...

Bella - will do! I kind of feel a zen state coming on. :D Out with the bad...In with the good.

Kelly Garriott Waite said...

For some reason, Google insists upon calling me anonymous. While I feel that way sometimes, especially as I writer, I don't intend to STAY that way:

I have two WIPs and I've surrended them for now. I love the characters and think about them all the time, but their story isn't engaging enough. So I don't think about it as giving up on them, or the story, I think of it as letting the soup simmer for awhile. I've got everything in the pot. It's just going to take awhile for everything to come together with a good flavor. Having said that, I'm reading My Side of the Mountain to my son. It took the author two weeks (2!) to write her first draft. Alas, they didn't have the internet in the 50s. Signing off...

Kelly Garriott Waite
http://writinginthemarginsburstingattheseams.blogspot.com/

thedustbunnychronicles.com said...

I am not a published writer but I've heard that your plan is sometimes necessary and even productive. While I too have a work in progress, I am 'shelving' it for a while to just work on the 'craft' of writing!
Sometimes, we do not have the luxury or privelege of setting something aside just to get focus. But when we can ....

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