There are moments when I sit down and have absolutely no urge to write.
With my laptop sitting in front of me, my hands resting on the keys, I stare at the computer screen blankly, all words fleeing from my grasp. I hate to sit and grasp at words, words that never flow, never create emotion, and never come at command. I know what I want to say, but I can’t find the words to say it.
The feeling is a plague to all of us writers.
What should you do when you are overwhelmed by an underwhelming urge to write? When you are forced to sit and criticize your last sentence because the words to the next refuse to come? What should you do?
1. Sometimes, I simply let the words sit. I walk away. I go work on homework. Take a walk. Read a book. At times, I feel my grasping at words can be my creativity sputtering out. Its my subconscious mind telling me it needs some creative fuel. That’s when I read a book or watch a movie.
But sometimes its not that simply.
2. Sometimes, we don’t have the leisure to walk away. There is a deadline approaching. Whether what I write is good or bad, it needs to be written, and no matter how I feel, I need to push myself through it.
At these times, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. For one, skipping to a different part of my writing helps. Yesterday, I was feeling no enthusiasm for the chapter I needed to write. So what did I do? I skipped three chapters to an exciting part, somewhere I knew what I wanted to do.
The words came. I got my word count in.
At other times, its my inner editor (hey, Tori) whose giving me problems. Yes, Tori loves to visit when I write. She usually perches on the top of the laptop, gazing down at the words as they falter onto the screen. She is in her element when I mix up exasperate and exaggerate and loves to correct my grammar. She is rather intimidating. And when she criticizes too many of the words that appear on the page, the words refuse to come. They don’t like being criticized.
At these times, well, Tori has to go (bye, dear!). Once I embrace the roughness of a rough draft (and a bad one at that), the words begin to flow again.
And some days, its just hard; hard for no particular reason. But those days must be endured. For at the end is a prize. And no matter the toughness of the road, the end must be achieved.