March 12, 2010

admitting it is the first step


it happened. somehow it snuck up on me and took me by surprise. i wasn't expecting it. i thought it wouldn't happen to me.

i completely forgot about The Wall.

you know, the wall you hit about 30,000 words into your first draft. the place where you start to think that your plot is lame and you couldn't write a good word if your life depended on it. you want to just chuck the entire thing, hit the delete key, run a huge magnet over your hard drive and go paint your nails or dig in the dirt or schedule a root canal, because anything would be better than continuing to pretend you're a writer. mine just happened to hit at 45,000 words instead of 30,000.

the problem is, this is my second draft or to be precise, draft 2.5 (and if you want to know why i'm calling it draft 2.5 and not the 5th draft you can read this: which draft is she on anyway?).

pardon me, i digress.

whatever draft you want to call it, it's not the dreaded first draft (which actually is the draft i love - all the others are a pain in the backside as far as i'm concerned), so i wasn't expecting to hit the wall.

but i did hit the wall. now i can see that. i mean, i've been working on the darn thing for longer than i can remember. it was about time i got to this point. i've been agonizing over getting it done in a certain amount of time, which only stresses me out even more. no wonder i'm here, staring up at a seemingly unmovable structure.

now that i've admitted it, i can start treating it like a wall and not a simple case of writers' block. somehow, admitting that it's a wall and not a block has freed me from worrying over it, stewing over it, swearing out loud over it, and generally dumping it. (if you heard laughter, it was coming from my husband and writing partner - they know that i'll probably still want to do all of those things anyway.)

now i can go read other stories without feeling guilty. i can let my mind play with other things. i can dig in the dirt and be ok with it, because i won't be worrying over how the story is going to progress. i can let my mind rest and most likely, now that i'm ok with it, the story will probably come gushing out again.

i'll let you know how that works out. until then, my encouraging readers will have to continue waiting. (just remember, good things come to those who wait. as long as this has been in the making, just think how good it will be.)

5 comments:

Catherine Denton said...

I think it's prophetic that your wall has a doorway through it. :)

Michelle Gregory said...

Catherine,
and i thought i was just using an interesting picture.

laurel said...

I think a good analogy for getting through the wall is in The Secret Garden. Mary Lennox has to wait for the key and the door to be revealed to her through the jaunty little robin. She just ponders and skips rope in the sunshine until that happens. Go and do likewise! :-)

Michelle Gregory said...

Laurel,
i like your reference to The Secret Garden. maybe i need to rent that one again. what i really love is how she transforms the garden to its former beauty.

Mary Campbell said...

I hit a wall to and I'm at 45,000 words too. Can't seem to get past it. I'm planning on going dark from my blog this week and get some serious writing done - I hope. I'm crossing my fingers for both of us. Thanks for checking out my blog and becoming a follower.