There’s no crying in writing

There’s no crying in writing – Carly Sandifer
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Actually that is a lie. There’s plenty of crying in writing. You know those days. You want to bang your head against the wall, throw yourself on the floor, and kick and scream like a toddler having a supermarket meltdown.

We love the moments when everything flows and every sentence feels pristine with jewel-like words and images. Everything is clicking into place. But we have plenty of days when that’s not going to happen.

The sentences on the page aren’t matching up with the vision in your mind. That’s usually a sign of overthinking, trying too hard, or getting too analytical instead of staying in your wild mind. (To learn more about how you can practice writing with a wild mind, read Natalie Goldberg’s book, Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life.)

Have a little cry if you want and then try these tips:

Put yourself in your story. Regain your connection with your plot by inhabiting scenes as you write them. Visualize yourself in a scene as you write it. Taste, touch, and smell the action. Now reveal the sensory images as you write the scene. 

Ask yourself, “What is my story about?” Just write without thinking, without stopping. This reminder will bring you back on track if you’ve veered off.

Close your eyes and just type. Get out of bed early and before you have had time to fully wake up and write in your dream state. You’ll be less likely to super analyze everything as you write.

Make a list of questions. Ask yourself what feels wrong about your manuscript or your plot? What does a particular character need to do next to get what he or she wants. Answer the questions.

We write because of the challenge and the magic. There’s a reason that anything amazing is often called a labor of love. Embrace the labor. Go write.

If this post has been helpful, you might like to check out Lost in the jungle? Five steps to move your story forward.

Tagged: revising, writer’s block, writing process

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