It doesn’t usually happen this fast for me – and perhaps I’m crowing about a fleeting moment of success – but it’s a big deal for me, especially this week.
I’ve been unmotivated, stressed, and generally frustrated by my inability to get into my office and produce something good – something that would make me keep writing the next installment in the Relic Hunter series so I can publish it sooner rather than later. All week I’ve struggled because the last paragraph I wrote last weekend just didn’t seem to have a direction. I spent the rest of the week obsessing over the fact that I had no plan, no vision, and I began to worry that perhaps I’d never write another book as good as the last one!
So today (out of desperation) I went searching for the relic that would become part of the basis for the new book. Within an hour I could see the whole book unfolding. The threads were clear – I had a relic, and I had a plan. The minute it all slid into place, I sat back and realized the angst of this past week was due to a lack of trust in my process as a writer. Part of that process is NOT WRITING.
Yes, that is what I meant. Writing daily and powering through scenes that are going nowhere might work for some authors but it does not work for me – EVER. When I get stuck I need to walk away, completely abandon the project and do other things for a while until I have a moment when clarity descends as if from heaven and I’m back at the computer again, writing furiously to get all of the ideas out before they evaporate again – because that’s a different part of the process, aparently.
When I’m not writing I’m creating the covers for stories I intend to write someday. I’m creating blog images, facebook posts, instagram puzzles – anything that’s NOT writing – but a million things related to my writing. That’s how I work. Abandonment isn’t ever total with me, it’s just that I move on to another aspect of being an author. And it’s okay that my method isn’t everyone else’s method for getting the next book done. The point is, that’s what works for me, and I need to trust that if I give it enough time I will have the epiphany that will make it all come together.
I think the rest of life needs the same philosophy. How many times have you struggled and worried to make something happen only to walk away and have it land in your lap? I’m not saying give up the struggle – I’m saying give up trying to force it to happen on your timeline. Act intentionally, lay the groundwork, and situation will develop when it’s right – without all of the angst and suffering you usually endure.
So go sit on the couch, crack open a new book (preferably one of mine), and breathe. The answers are coming, but the universe, the muses, and miracles don’t work on your schedule but when it’s time for them to arrive, they do.
Stay sane, stay safe, and go binge watch the Indiana Jones movies.