Anyone who has experienced the joys of writing knows it’s quite common to get sucked into a story, only to have several hours pass without even realizing it. Seriously, I get so immersed in a project that I become detached from my surroundings and almost BECOME part of my characters’ world. That level of commitment helps me to visualize the scenes, characters, and emotions.
I often get so obsessed that the story takes over my thoughts, intrudes into my dreams, and seeps into my daily life.
Getting too close to a manuscript leaves me vulnerable to blind spots. I can’t see plot holes, wonky phrases, or–gasp–adverbs!
So I take breaks. (Sometimes I need a rest too, Amen?)
Jumping into the thousands of words and hundreds of pages feels overwhelming. What if I get lost in the details and can’t find my way back? What if I think the whole thing is an exercise in futility? What if I find a problem I can’t fix?
Phooey. Now I can’t work on it. I stalled out because I flooded the engine with worries.
So, how do I get out of catastrophic thinking?
I talk to writerly friends. I read a book. I write blog posts. I read and comment on others’ blogs. I repeat a mantra that’s remarkably similar to that of The Little Engine That Could.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…
Somehow, it works. Thank. God.
My question: What do you tell yourself to keep the writing wheels churning when you hit a tough spot or a steep hill?
Don’t forget to check out Zoe’s answer about how much she’s like her characters!