my letter to my work-in-progess a couple of weeks ago, I have been stuck. But this past week, thanks to my critique group's night of writing and a little trick, I finally fixed the beginning of my middle-grade novel. (And my work-in-progress is very thankful about this.)
Here was my Facebook post on my page the following day:
"Here's the weird thing about writers. I have been stuck on my latest
middle grade novel. Really the first 12 pages. Last night, I copied and
pasted them into a new Word doc, changed the font, and voila, solved my
entire plot problem. #mindtricks "
Several writers commented on this post. It seemed to resonate with many. One writer said that she uses a different computer sometimes if she is stuck. A couple offered more words of encouragement, saying to do whatever works and that I had a cool idea. And finally, some are considering trying it, after also being stuck and not writing much all summer (or maybe even longer).
Writing is an exhausting process--even if it brings you great joy and satisfaction--it is not very easy. Many writers have a love-hate relationship with their profession, but could not imagine doing anything else. Even when some writers (such as me) are not making much progress on a creative project, we are still writing in some way--whether we are expressing ourselves through blog posts, social media messages, or even emails and journal entries.
The point is--we are writers, and sometimes writers get stuck and run out of fuel and spark. So it is important to surround yourself with encouraging, like-minded people (such as the writers in my critique group) and find a method that works for you TODAY (because it might not be the same method that worked yesterday).
In two weeks, my critique group and I are going on a weekend writing retreat. I'll be sure to let you know what tricks work for me and how my work-in-progress and I are getting along after spending more time together than we have all year.
Have you ever tricked your mind when writing? What works for you?
Margo L. Dill is a children's author of three books for ages 3 to 18. She also teaches writing courses for WOW! Women On Writing. To find out more, visit http://www.margodill.com.
light bulb photo by thomasbrightbill (http://www.flickr.com)