Monday, March 27, 2006

Writing = Pounding Head on Keyboard

Saturday afternoon, I had the place to myself. Just my dog and I. Hubby had my daughter over at his house and I had seven hours stretched out before me with uninterrupted bliss.

My plans included writing, writing, and writing...and taking a very long walk.

But when I sat down at the keyboard, it felt forced. Like trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip, as the old saying goes. And it was so frustrating for me. Here I was, with all this time on my hands, and I couldn't get the words to flow!

I decided to take a nap - just a short one, I promised myself - to maybe work through my plot problems. And I won't lie to you - that nap was heavenly. It was also FOUR HOURS LONG!

I wasn't happy when I woke up and saw the time. But instead of moping about, I put on my walking shoes and my dog and I went for a nice, long walk. When I came back home, I sat down at my computer and typed out the rest of my plot.

Yesterday I managed to write half a page and again, I felt like I was banging my head on the wall. Why, I thought, am I having trouble when I know what I need to write? That's how I like it, after all - I need to have the scene in my head before I sit down at the computer. But for some reason, I wasn't letting go of my inner editor - and writing the bare bones, like I blogged about a few days ago.

I hope tonight will be different, and I can encourage my inner editor to take a hike. :-)


  1. Very frustrating, but sounds like you needed a rest!! You don't sleep for 4 hours in the afternoon unless you're tired!!!

  2. I know that feeling. I've had the whole house to myself, sat down with the best of intentions and nothing comes. I agree with Toni, sounds like you needed the rest.

  3. I hate it when that happens, but it DOES happen sometimes. And the more you stress about it, the worse it will get. So try not to force it.

  4. I had Saturday morning to myself, too (a very rare occurence!) and I read for hours. :-) I didn't stress about using the time for writing, I needed some reading time. I think we tend to cut short our reading once we become writers and this is a big mistake. Reading is important. If we don't refill, there's nothing to come out. If you're tired, sleep. :-) You'll write much better anyway. I have come to realize it isn't a race. It's better to have quality rather than quantity. Sometimes I don't write for a while, then I sit down for a few hours and write as much as I would have written for a couple weeks. That's encouraging. By the way, I did write later that day and it was good stuff. :-)

  5. But the four hour nap was delicious while it lasted, wasn't it?

  6. You can do it Melissa! Don't encourage the inner editor, kick her the heck out!

  7. I've had that happen to me too, Mel. I agree - it's horribly frustrating. You did the right thing, IMHO - sleep and a walk can get the creative juices flowing :-)

    Hope you have better luck at the keyboard tonight. And don't, whatever you do, feel bad about it.

  8. Rachel is right - you can make it worse by stressing about it. You obviously needed the nap.

  9. Hope tonight the pages flow! It seems like having actual long blocks of time isn't conducive to writing much. I don't understand that. :(

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