Today I’m sharing a little insight. This isn’t just for writers, this is for everyone. We all have times where we struggle to move forward and finding a mantra that propels us – helps us put one foot in front of the other – can make everything much easier to bear.
I’m in the midst of my first draft on my suspense novel (not the first novel I’ve written – but the one that stands the best chance of publication – possibly). I’m also in the midst of my umpteenth freak-out, for no other reason than I’m just one of those people.
I have a wonderful mentor, bless her overly abundant patient heart, Gabriela Pereira, who has listened and guided and cheered and challenged me. So during our last conversation I had to spill the beans. I was stuck. Not writer’s block – I have a difficult time accepting that, but blocked by my desire to edit.
As the story progresses and I learn more about my characters, things change. For instance, I send my protagonist off to remote parts because of her grandfather. As the story progressed, Grandpa took a backseat – as in from riding in the front seat of the pickup to bouncing along on the tailgate. Somewhere along the way Grandpa completely bounced out of the truck.
In my mind, I could go no further with my story until I corrected this issue. Which meant going back and deleting all hints of grandpa. But, I didn’t want to do that because I didn’t want to lose that word count. But I couldn’t move forward because he’s a goner. The heck if I want to turn this truck around and hunt him down. So forward progress came to a halt, reverse corrections stalled, and I sat in my chair stagnate.
During that call, Gabriela reminded me to move forward. I told her nope, can’t do it. I have to fix this stuff. Then she reminded me that I still didn’t know every nuance in my novel. I don’t need to write old gramps out, for all I know, he might come back.
And that’s the mantra that stuck. That’s the bizarre line I tell myself so I can move forward with writing.
And how does this pertain to you and whatever you may be struggling with? You need to find the mantra that will guide you one tiny step forward. Say the mantra take a step and keep doing that until you reach your destination. Somewhere along the way it will become easier.
Grandpa might come back.