Friday, June 3, 2011

I surrender!

I've hoisted my white flag.

Cats got my tongue, temporary finger paralysis, writer's constipation; however you want to phrase it, the simple fact is, the writing just ain't gonna happen.

Rousing two hours earlier than my usual 8:15 a.m., in order to take my quasi-carpenter brother-in-law and his cheftastic girlfriend to the airport, subsequently led to inertia creeping in around noon -- right after I flushed the last of my coffee buzz down the porcelain tornado. Good news is, I grabbed Bella, a bag of pita chips, and my favorite book and hunkered down in bed for an hour nap. Bad news is, my brain refused to wake up and is currently on strike. On a positive note, we're in negotiations with the union; however, it could still be a while.

Like most people, including my friend Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, I tend to work better with a brain. I don't have to be a psychic to know that, should I start in on edits for chapter six of Awakening Foster Kelly, I would start the following day reediting my editing. Slightly counterproductive if you ask me. What to do, what to do...

I surrender, that's what. That may sound very unwriterish of me, but you know what, I really don't care! Part of being a healthy writer means you know when to give yourself a break. Your creativity is your friend. You treat it like a slave and eventually that whip'll turn around and slap you right in the face. So, if the words don't be a flowin', then off to the beach, library, cupboard beneath the stairs, you need to be a goin'. Anywhere you're not tempted to have another round in the ring with your laptop. Don't worry, it will be waiting right where you left when you get back. But isn't that part of the process, you ask? Pushing through the block and putting it down on the page anyway? Yes. But even Muhammad Ali, three time heavyweight boxing champion, knew better than to fight injured and risk permanent damage to his God-given gift. It's no different for the writer. Instead of a broken nose, fractured ribs, or a concussion, you'll sustain a broken heart, fractured self-esteem, or despondency.

If you love it that much, know when to say, "that's enough." 

And I'll tell you now, if you haven't been able to do more than give your cursor a thorough voyage on the stagnant sea of white paper, it's time you anchor down and jump ship. Okay.. enough boxing and sailing analogies. My point is ( I say this alot, don't I?) your brain needs some downtime. And no... writing in your head doesn't count as downtime. That's right. I see you. Put the mouse down and back away slowly.

You'll thank me later.


CloudyKim said...

Hahaha, Cara, this post is awesome! I completely know where you're coming from with this. I'm of the mind that, as much as you want your brain to work, it just won't do it sometimes. And you have to just let and.... reclaim that life everyone says we need to have, haha.

I love this phrase:

"Your creativity is your friend. You treat it like a slave and eventually that whip'll turn around and slap you right in the face."

I pictured it and laughed. A lot.

Revision takes a lot more brain power than writing that first draft. Really. Really really. So watch some movie about solving puzzles and ride that wave with your revisions. This just might help :)

Kristin Yuki said...

Haha! I love this post and the sailing analogies! I was going to quote the same text as Kim but found I didn't need to but it too made me laugh.

So that's what I have to look forward to, huh? Well, glad to know I have somewhere/someone to turn to when I get to that point (:

Tammy said...

I am still giggling over "writer's constipation" GREAT use of words Cara but sad you are experiencing writer's block :(

Tracey said...

Here Here! (Or is that 'hear hear' - one day I will care enough to look it up lol)

mouthyjenn said...

I totally know what you mean not in the sense of writing . nut i am that way with studying for a test i study so much that sometimes i drive myself crazy to the point where i know everything and on the day of the test i lose it all. it is important to know when to take a break from studying and in your case writing so you can continue to write amazing stories like awakening foster kelly which im dying to finish .