Monday, July 16, 2012

Stop fighting your writerly instincts in 25 easy steps.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This may or may not have happened to me a couple months ago.

1. Realize that something's wrong with your WIP. Something big. Something you can't ignore.

2. Spend hours trying to figure out what it is.

3. Become stumped.

4. Sulk.

5. Stop writing.

6. Get cranky.

7. Pretend you're happier not writing.

8. Repeat steps 2 through 7.

9. Profess to your critique partner that you're totally ok with never writing again.

10. In response to your CP's skepticism, begin to vent about why you hate your WIP.

11. Argue that all your fixing ideas don't work.

12. At your CP's urging, list all of your terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad ideas.

12. Insist that, no, that one idea that sounds like it could work really doesn't work.

13. No, it really doesn't.

14. Ok, it could, but what about ...

15. Alright, maybe it does, but it goes against this one thing that you thought was really important.

16. Realize that that one important thing doesn't actually matter at all.

17. Scoff at the idea that you've suspected the solution the whole time but were just too stubborn to see it.

18. Secretly try really, really hard not to smile.

19. Let a teeny corner of your mouth curl up.

20. Scowl.

21. Try to poke a hole in the solution.

22. Confirm there's no hole.

23. Poke again, just to be sure. Nada.

24. Finally allow that gigantic cheeser of a grin to spread across your face.

25. Get back to writing.


  1. Thanks for the post. I think we've all probably been there at some point. I'll confess I've had to get over being stubborn on occasion.

    1. Yep, this experience was quite the lesson in trusting myself!

  2. hahaha... this is so encouraging.

  3. Recently I had to put my WIP on a time out. It was being naughty and talking back. After sitting in the time out spot for a while, it's back to behaving and I'm happy to say I want to play with it again :)

    1. Too funny! Even when I give my WIP a brief time out and stop writing, I always say that my thoughts are marinating and I'm counting on my subconscious doing its thing. The instance that inspired this post was the longest time out I've had so far, and I'd like to not repeat it!

  4. I've definitely been there before.

    Best part of this post is the reference to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. AMAZING book!


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