29 July 2014

Forcing the Issue

"Write every day." You read this all the time as the most essential discipline for a writer to develop. Most of us do write every day: emails, Tweets, blog posts, letters. Some days you even get to work on your manuscript.

There are times, however, when forcing the issue is not constructive. I shall dare to say it is counterproductive. There are days when the words just will not come, and what does emerge is pure garbage. One school of thought maintains that continuing to push through will get the trite and hackneyed mess out of your system, allowing your thoughts to crystallize and your word choices to grow more precise. I've experienced this. In fact, usually it's how things work.

But there are times [for me it seems they happen more often than not during the dog days of summer, which are right damn now] when your work is just pure crap and producing more of the same is utterly depressing and thoroughly demoralizing. That's when it's acceptable--desirable, even--to step back and away from the keyboard. Close your eyes and let your mind wander elsewhere. Go for a walk, exercise, read a book that is completely different from what you're trying to write. Take a vacation from your work and let your batteries recharge. It's OKAY not to force the issue.

Now you know why I've been so long between blog posts.

Happy writing,

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