Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Wall, a Plea, and a Song

In college my nightmares kind of looked like this.

 One of my math professors-no, no, don't go. I promise this post isn't about math. This professor told the class that everyone hits a wall in mathematics at some point. Maybe math was easy all throughout high school and we thought that would always be the case-it's not. Eventually there will be a concept we struggle to comprehend. We may want to give up, change majors, or drop the class. So why the pep talk? He wanted his students prepared, so when we hit our wall we didn't give up.

Writers also have a wall we bang up against on occasion. Call it writer's block if you want, but to me writer's block is when you don't know what to write about. The wall of doom I speak of will project itself anywhere it can to disrupt your writing process. It only has one goal-to stop you. Beyond that its aims are not specific.

This is a test and the only way to pass it is to keep on writing or revising or plotting or whatever you were doing before the wall appeared.

When working on a novel you will reach a point where you think it's complete garbage, a useless waste of time, and an entirely unsalvageable mess.


 Don't freak out, it's just another part of the process. Walk away from your keyboard for a few days if you must. Read your favorite book. Talk to someone about your story or if, like me, you are overly secretive write a summary of the problems you are having. What needs to happen? Why isn't it happening? Solutions will come as long as you do whatever you need to do to keep going. The wall will disappear and you'll be much happier with your story. Too many people stop when the writing gets tough. This is me urging you to think twice before giving up.

The more I stumble along with my editing process, the better my story becomes. I have a long list of revisions set aside to apply to my almost complete draft number three which will (hopefully) turn it into a sparkling fourth draft.

The last few weeks I was hitting the wall and I didn't know what to do, but I didn't stop working and now the wall's gone. I feel good and I want you to feel good too.

And because it's Wednesday, here is a little music for you. I love this because it combines my left and right brainedness into one quirky song.


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