Writer’s block struck when I least expected. Just when I thought I was on a roll with the second draft I got flu and while nursing a sore head, throat etc… the muse left me for about two weeks. I eventually put myself back into the chair and opened the last draft I’d saved. Still I couldn’t write .
One day, I picked up a copy of ‘bird by bird’ by Anne Lamott and read the title of one chapter; ‘Short Assignments’ and that is what it has been since. I started with half a page of revision. Then another bit. Little by little, I pulled myself back into the swing of writing again. (Why didn’t I pick that book up sooner?)
It comes back to something that I noticed about writing.
It’s going to move as fast or slow as it wants to.
What I mean is during the times when it is slow there is usually a reason. In my case, the chapter I was revising needed to be completely changed. I had to delete about 2500 words and rewrite whole new scenes. The delay? I was fighting the changes inside me. So I got stuck. When I eventually allowed myself to delete what wasn’t working, it began to flow and my writing became unstuck. Now I know that the time it took to get the chapter going in the right direction was worth it. It works much better now. But I still, deep inside me, hate that it took so long.
On a positive note, I’m going to use National Novel Writing Month (November) aka NaNoWriMo as my deadline to wrap up the second draft of this novel and start the next one. But even then, for all my planning, I need to keep remembering that this writing will sometimes happen in its own time.