Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday So What: Wrong Turn

We've all seen one of these in our lives. Whether in personal or family life, or in our writing -- things are going smooth then Wham, bumpy dirt road.

I recently had this experience in both aspects of my life.  Things were going great, I was sailing along, the words just pouring through my fingers. We're talking 5000 words a day. Then boom, couldn't get a single sentence out. Something just felt wrong. It wasn't easy, it literally felt like slogging through quicksand. Write a paragraph, delete it.  Delete the paragraph before it. Wonder why I am a writer anyway since I clearly sucked.

A day off and a little perspective taught me that I had gone the wrong way in the scene prior. That's why I was having trouble making it work. If you have to force and trudge it to come out, chances are you have made a little error in the progression of your story.  Maybe a character's voicing or attitude is wrong. Or the reasoning for an action doesn't track. It can really throw you off.

The same thing applies to home life. When my day just feels like I am trudging through that mud and the kids are being little demons, I probably took a wrong turn somewhere. I might have started the day with the wrong attitude. I might have my priorities messed up.

Sometimes I feel like I keep going down that bumpy dirt path until I get a flat tire, rather than taking a moment to turn myself around.

So my advice for the week is if your having a rough road as a writer or at home, Stop. Look back and find that spot it went from smooth to that three hour tour that never ends. Go back to that spot and turn yourself around.


  1. I've had to do that so many times. While it's painful to cut as many as 30 pages, it's well worth it in the end. (Especially if you're a pantser like me.)

  2. Great post Betsy. We all need little prompts that if we don't stop and turn around there is "danger" up ahead. I appreciate the reminder. Thank you ~ Joyce S.



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