Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Powering Through

I sat down today knowing I had to write. But—incomprehensible!—I didn’t want to. For me, editing can be as fun as first draft writing, but it can also be a punch to the throat. I look at paragraphs and, with hate, go “Why won’t you do what I want? You sound blah and I’m not even sure you make sense. Why won’t you behave?”

This happens a lot when I’m bogged down in editing. A wall just appears in front of the screen, blocking me from getting to my book. After these bouts, I take a small break that I usually force myself to come back from. But even just a few minutes can knock down the wall covering the screen. I can power through, see what isn’t working and find a way to fix it. And what comes out usually isn’t half bad.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work. There are times—and I don’t this unless I absolutely have to—I give up, figuring it’s best to wait and see if my crit partners have the same feeling towards it. By the time I hear back, then enough time will have passed that I’ll probably be able to edit better.

Your thoughts? What do you do when you hit a block writing or editing? Do you have any tricks for getting around the wall?

Writing is easy. Writing well is hard.

Wait, have I already used that one? Eh, whatever.


  1. The problem I have with editing is that I have lost that 'first love' when everything was exciting, and the words came easily. With editing, I feel like I am doing surgery.

  2. I too am supposed to be working on revisions. It's not going very well (surprise, surprise) so I try to power my way though the wall. If that doesn't work, I go read something for a while and then come back later and try again.

    Good luck with your edits...

  3. When I get stuck, I write it out. I write down what is bothering me, what I think sounds horrible, or just a simple statement that says, "this sucks". For some reason, just stating that seems to help, and then I can get back to whatever it was I was doing.

  4. I rather like that analogy of editing as surgery. While I haven't yet gotten to my own WIP to edit (have to finish it first), I do enough editing in other fields that it does have that feel to it.


Please validate me.