Mar 11, 2013

Focus and Fix

I'm currently sitting in my classroom, repeatedly saying "Write", "Talk less write more", and "Focus". This is pretty standard as we are turning the corner to the last quarter of the school year and the weather is changing and people are thinking about when they won't have a classroom to go to anymore.

But they are also the things that I have to say to myself. I just spent the last week working through the start of a scene (yes, a week on one scene. Told you it was going slow). It was the starting of a chapter that wasn't grounded in how the last chapter ended, which was a problem. I had to figure out how the transition would work and why it was a natural transition, which I couldn't do when I was drafting so I just skipped it.

Let me tell you, staying focused on that one little part was a pain in the butt.  I was distracted by everything.  I even picked folding clothes over writing. Yup, things were bad.

But as soon as I told myself this had to get done, that enough was enough, slowly, the ideas started dropping.

I have had several people say this is the busiest time of the year for them, but the simple truth is we have to keep at it because trying to come back from a week or two break from writing is hard. So I'm offering you the same challenge I have given myself. Go to that part that you keep skipping over and just write something. Tweak and delete and rewrite and repeat and repeat and repeat until the scene starts to unfold.

Your writing deserves it.

What do you do to work through the scenes that don't want to come? Are you further ahead on your writing this week than last? Did you, like me, feel the effects of Daylight Savings before it even showed up?

14 comments :

Cassie Mae said...

You read my mind, I swear. DST doesn't really affect the life of a newborn, so naturally it doesn't affect me all that much ;) But I'm finding it incredibly difficult to focus on anything. What normally takes me an hour will take me a week. Oiy... it's bad. I chose dishes over writing the other day, so I'm right there with ya.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Since that troublesome scene will likely mess up the rest of the story if I get it wrong, I plow through it until it's right.
And I don't know about unfocused, but I'm sure tired today!

ilima said...

Good for you for sticking that scene out. It'll be so worth it. I'm so tired today, and I'm blaming it on the time change. I wonder how long I can use that as an excuse?

Donna K. Weaver said...

Yeah, that's so true. I don't mind a break from a project but from writing at all? It can be hard to get back in the groove. Kinda like a diet. Ugh

Julie Luek said...

I had an article to write with a deadline and for some reason, I just had a heck of a time pulling the information together in a cohesive format that was entertaining to read. I procrastinated-- like you said-- folded laundry, wrote blog posts, anything to avoid this task. Thank goodness for externally imposed deadlines. I finally forced myself to highlight and color code the information, wrote an outline and FINALLY just plowed through a really (in Anne Lamott's words) shitty first draft. Now it's done and turned in, but the process will start over next time an article is due.

Jessie Humphries said...

You could always do what I did: quit! Just kidding. I'm calling it a break. :)

Nicole said...

I try to push through because it'll bug me if I don't fix it, but sometimes I'll leave it until first round edits when I have a better feel for the story as a whole and exactly what needs to change about the trouble area.

Leigh Covington said...

I don't know if you could say I'm further in my writing, but yeah - maybe. lol. And I sometimes need a day or two away so that I can work through things. Eventually it comes to me, but there are definitely times where it takes a week. :)

JeffO said...

Mostly I just bounce off it again and again and again until I get it right. And I know what you mean about taking a long time. I spent a good solid week on one chapter, and I'm doing it again this week.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I've always thought DST is the cause of spring fever in schools. It's really sleep deprivation because none of the kids want to settle down and get ready for bed if it's still daylight outside!

Julie Daines said...

Great advice! Thanks for the kick in the pants.

Jaxbee said...

I think my strategy is similar to yours - I persevere a bit, leave it, write something else and then go back to it. Once it starts to become a bit of a weight on my shoulders then I roll my sleeves up, fetch myself a cup of tea and dive in for the duration. It kind of works for me, most of the time!
Great post!

Kelley Lynn said...

It's so true. We just have to power through. It's amazing after you start, a few minutes in, how it just becomes easier, and fun and you remember why you torture yourself. For this feeling :)

Roshni AaMom said...

Just dropped in to say hi from the A to Z challenge! I'm a first-time participant!
I see that you too, like some of the others I visited, are also writing a book! I'm still a blogging newbie, but hope to as well some day!