Week two of drafting and getting to ~25K! AKA the point in drafting where the idea is going somewhere so might as well finish the darn thing ;)
Week 2: 11,036
So the week started pretty great as I started to build the frame of the narrative and the layers of the characters. But then toward the weekend, I wrote myself into a corner. It happens. And when it does, it sucks majorly. So what should you do? Well, I can't speak for all writers, but here are my suggestions:
- Take a break. Step away from your work so you can get a fresh mind and a clear perspective. You'll find that doing so will often (if not most likely) help solve the issue.
- Figure out the point in which you deviated in the plot that led to the dead end. Ever get lost when you're on the road driving? Same situation. You drive along, scenery looks great until it doesn't anymore. You get an inkling that you aren't headed where you want to go. You pull over, try to get your bearings, and realize where you went turned out to be the wrong way, and it helps to back track.
- Do something else that you love or inspires you. Sometimes you just need to switch gears to avoid burnout. For me, it's playing my guitar, reading, or good food. Which brings me to my next topic.
Food for thought. No seriously. Do you ever think about the food you eat and how it can affect you or your creative spirit? When I wrote myself into a corner I turned to food. But not in the binge and eat my feels kind of way (though I'll admit I do that sometimes). I like to think of food as a sensory art. Ever had that moment when you ate something that brought up a memory, or was so delicious you thought you might cry? Food, like books, tell a story. From the ingredients that make it up, to the time it takes to prepare, to the final presentation. It's beautiful and such a wonderful, momentous experience, like reading an amazing story that touches your soul.
Michael and I ate some amazing food during the weekend when I wrote myself into a corner (note I will probably trash like 3K of what was written this week), and it really consoled and reassured me that it's okay sometimes to get lost. It's okay to accidentally add too much salt in a recipe, you'll just know not to the next time you make it. To get a recipe at its absolute best, you need the exact measurements, the perfect temperature, and the necessary amount of time, to pull that tasteful masterpiece together; and that happens with a little tweaking, a dash of practice, and a sprinkle of experimentation.
So yeah, I wrote myself into a corner this week. But it wasn't so bad once I had some amazing food to give me a tasteful perspective. The lesson I learned this week: making delicious food is like creating a magical manuscript. Once you get it just right--the flavors, the colors, the scents, the sights--all of it will be an unforgettable and sensory experience.