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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Art of Doing Nothing

Well, not exactly nothing. (And I certainly haven't been wearing those shoes around. I've mostly been wearing my Ugg slippers). I've been baking. I've been cleaning. I've been shopping. I've even been working on that accounting thing I told you about. But, and this is a big but, what I haven't been doing is writing.

I hit this brick wall on my WIP a couple of weeks ago. It started with some minor feedback I received from a reputable source. And it just escalated out of control after I signed the accounting client. You'll remember my last post blamed it on the battle between the two sides of my brain. But I've come to realize that's not really the problem. The problem is that my WIP has a slight glitch(okay, maybe major...depending on who you ask), and I don't know how to fix it. So I've found every excuse in the book to do nothing about it.

I've been in this spot before, and eventually I was able to move past it. I'm sure that will be the case this time. But I need to be realistic about the timing of that move. Things are always hectic during the holidays, and I don't have the time it will require to really delve into this problem. I'm okay with that. My plan is to put the WIP aside until the first of the year. When the hustle of the holidays settle down and I wrap up the work on the BIG client, I think I'll be more equipped to tackle the glitch.

So, ever had a glitch you weren't sure how to fix? Did the answer eventually come to you? Are you writing over these busy holiday times? Or are you taking a little breather?

22 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

I hit a glitch about a month ago. I found my way through it, but with the holidays here, I've had to stop writing as well. And of course got slammed with a bright new shiny idea. Oh well.

Have a wonderful holiday!

storyqueen said...

Time is very important when solving a problem in your WIP. If you rush it, you might not find the right way through.

Good luck and enjoy your holiday!

Shelley

Melissa Hurst said...

I've had many glitches to work through. I would procrastinate most of the time to avoid trying to fix them, but the best thing that helps me is to get a notebook and just write different ideas. Works every time for me:)

Patti said...

I'm there right now and like you, I'm trying not to put any pressure on myself until after the holidays.

Catherine Denton said...

Time away always helps me. After I've been refreshed with real living, I can usually see a way through my problem.

I laughed at your comment on my blog about coming through the computer for a better look. Guess I needed more close-ups. ;)

Amy said...

The holidays are a great excuse to take a break :)

Tamika: said...

I'm writing. I've taken enough breaks in 2011:)

Merry Christmas! I pray the fog clears and you find direction you need for the story.

Diane said...

Do you have crit friends that can brainstorm with you to get you out of that mess??? If you ever need my help, feel free to holler. Hugs :O)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I'm no stranger to glitches either. I've found I usually need to spend some time thinking about the problem, preferably after a good night's sleep. Sometimes it takes several rounds to get it all ironed out, but eventually the story comes around.

Good luck and happy holidays!

Karen Peterson said...

I've been working on the same book for three years. Glitches are something I know very well.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That definitely describes the dilemma I'm facing after I received feedback on my first 50 pages. Some of her comments I could ignore because she hadn't read the book (she was trying to turn my YA suspense into a YA contemp, which would have been a problem 1/4 way into the book).

Her other comments made me think, and in the end I decided to deal with those. So guess what I'm doing over the holiday season? :D

Nisa said...

I so get this. I'm doing the same with mine. The New Year is a great time to start.

Things that get me out of my glitches? Calling a fellow writer and using them as a sounding board. When I can talk through the problem, solutions usually present themselves and sometimes they're way easier than rewriting! Also, baths. Just relaxing in the tub seems to stir my creativity. I discovered this during NaNo this year, actually.

strugglingwriter said...

I hope to write over Christmas break for sure. We'll see if that happens, though.

I've found a solution does usually come to me, if I don't give up first.

Nancy said...

I think taking a break will help you a lot. Have a very Merry Christmas.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I've had a glitch since Dec 1st. LOL But more from just being swamped. This month has been insane.

Wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas!!

Jaime Wright said...

I'm starting to be grateful for "glitches". They're miserable when you're in them, but like recently, ruminating on them for a while lends itself to a complete change of direction and the WIP gets THAT much more interesting. :)

Medeia Sharif said...

I had a glitch earlier this year. I had to basically rewrite a manuscript after getting feedback from beta readers. I put it off for a while, but then tackled rewrites. It was a long, sometimes painful process, but then I got into the swing of things and everything worked out.

The holidays is a great time to refuel for what's ahead.

Happy New Year!

Jayne said...

Are you kidding? Glitches galore! But you know the remedy, Susan. Take time. You know you'll return to it renewed.

Wishing you a very happy and productive 2012. :)

Peaceful Sun - Karina said...

I feel your pain, and yes I too have hit a brick wall. I started painting and doing photography instead of writing to help with my FLOW. Truth is I've been avoiding working on my book....compiling my poetry. Fear of Failure? Fear of Fear? I've been having some early Menapause problems perhaps...only 43 and feeling it! You know what I think helps, watch a movie that make YOU LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF. Hey great idea....let me see "My Brother's an Idiot", "Forgetting Sara Marshall", "Role Models, "I love You Man", Dinner with the Schmucks". Watching a funny movie pulls me out of the FUNK! Time for you to write, last post was Dec 21st

WritingNut said...

YES... definitely... I always find that some time away helps as you come back to it with fresh eyes and recharged batteries.

Lily Robinson said...

Now, you've got me. I put my WIP aside TWO YEARS AGO! Yep, two whole years. At first I had the legitimate excuse of full-time babysitting, but that ended after a few months. When I went back to read it, I didn't like where the story had gone. I decided I needed to cut about 20k words to get back on track. That task seemed to overwhelming and made it easy to find excuses. So now here we are. Inspire me Susan!

btw... I am sending you another email with shoe pics!

Janet, said...

Yes, I have hit those glitches before. Not fun. I am heading into the new in full steam ahead mode. I have sent in 4 submissions already and working on more. Don't give up, you'll get over that glitch soon.