In this way, Writing is cruel. Writing operates on its own schedule. Writing doesn't care that you, say, desperately need to pen a query letter that will bring the publishing world to its knees.
Me: Why, Writing, why do you do this! And why do I keep coming back for more?
Writing: Shhh, I'm trying to watch Lost.
You can Butt-In-Chair it all you want to combat a writing roadblock. But it doesn't always work. Words come, sure, but they're not necessarily the ones you need. The right ones.
Sometimes you must be patient.
I hate being patient.
In fact, when writing gets the best of me, I become supremely productive in all other areas of life, as if to prove to myself that I am not, in fact, an epic failure.
Then I remember that sometimes, even when your conscious mind is all "Huh?" your unconscious mind is all "I got your back, yo."
(My unconscious mind is kind of a tough guy. He could totally beat up your unconscious mind.)
Case In Point (or, Case In Brief Story):
I realized after the Query Shark workshop that a chunk of my query letter needed an overhaul. I wasn't presenting my novel in quite the right way. But I had no idea HOW to fix it.
Fastforward two weeks, past the emergency retinal procedure, straight to the SCBWI NYC Conference. Friday night, I drank an energy drink to prevent yawning and general comatosity* at KidLit drink night. It worked. But I slept about four hours. And in the three or so hours I lay awake in a groggy half-sleep, a sentence popped into my head. And then another. And another.
Well, I had a barely legible mishmash of sentences and phrases. But it was amazing. And surprisingly coherent, come daylight!
So what have we learned, dear readers?
Trust in your writerly right brain. Trust in Writing. And be a little patient. But not a lot. The whole time I was NOT rewriting the query letter, I was thinking about it and working on other writing.
My World-Changing Food/Writing Metaphor:
Marinating pretty much makes any food better. And the longer you marinate, the better it tastes. But if you let it marinate too long, it'll go rotten.
Fellow Writing Chefs:
Any good marinating stories or midnight inspiration? Share, share!
* Comatosity: adjective form of comatose. I'm totally copyrighting this.