Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Writing 101: Listening to Your Inner Voice

Normally, stopping a project before it's finished is considered a bad thing. But when you're a writer, you have to learn how to listen to your inner voice -- and how to respond to it. 


Compulsion

I've been working on a new project lately, as writers are wont to do, and I've been struggling with it. The words don't want to come, so I've been trying to force them onto the page. 

But while struggling through every paragraph of this manuscript, I kept finding myself continuously drawn to a different project -- one I'd discarded long ago. I kept reading it, and looking at the outline, and thinking about it. And then I kept on going back to that other manuscript, and just staring at the screen.

So the other night, I was back to that unfinished project again -- and I just started typing. Before I knew it, I'd finished a whole new chapter. Now that's the project I'm working on, because that's the project I'm currently compelled to write. The words are coming easily now, and the ideas are flowing. 

My inner voice started telling me to switch projects, and I listened, and now I can say I definitely don't have writer's block. I'm excited about the project, and I'm writing with ease again. I don't know that it's going to stay this way, and I can't guarantee that this is going to be the next project I finish. Because I don't know what I'm going to be compelled to write next. All I know is, right now I'm listening. And that's working. 

Sometimes, that's just what you have to do.

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2 comments:

  1. Very true, you have to be disciplined, but those inner instincts should be listened to as well.

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  2. Good point, Dan! Thanks for your comment.

    ReplyDelete