Monday, June 10, 2013

Getting stuck

Should I be reading, or should I be writing? The conflict is constant. Observing, and hoping to absorb talent and style by osmosis, is a worthwhile endeavor. My conscience, however, keeps telling me to get at it. Put the Kindle (or book) down, and start typing. Even if it's blogging. That pesky conscience says, "There's a story to develop. Details, more description! You need to add dimensions to those characters already existing in your head. Bring them to life." It's quite a naggy frontal cortex.

The tirade continues with, "Quit looking on Amazon. Open up Word instead!"

My inner-dialogue is relentless, and I use it to make myself feel overly guilty. My conscious mind knows there are revisions to be made to last year's -- yet unfinished -- NaNoWriMo project. Obviously, I need to complete the story. The finale stands at outline status, and that doesn't suffice if it's ever to be finished.

Self-criticism gets me, much like troll-ish reviews on Amazon , nowhere! Worry is like that. Feeling anxious about something is not helpful and only sucks away the energy needed to complete the project. Whereas my writing can always improve, my expertise at worry is unsurpassed. I'm a pro! I'm the best -- just ask me!

The key to feeling un-stuck is simply not staying stuck. Just today, I joined a conversation about whether to be enlightened or discouraged by criticism. I've often said my skin needs to thicken to criticism. An online friend once suggested to read the review only one time and take from it what can help you learn. She urged to never go back to it after that initial reading. Let it serve its purpose if it is to do you any good.

Naysayers can suck, but their words can make you stronger. Everyone has their own taste, but the goal is to write something that you know came from your best effort. And using the feedback constructively can drive a writer to do even better the next time.

Prove them wrong! Know you are going to continue to grow as a writer and a person by never letting yourself stay in a rut. Right - write - on!

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