Today I registered for my annual writing conference. I can’t tell you how excited I am, even though they removed some of the elements that were usually highlights for a lot of participants. I’m excited because I get to see writer friends I don’t get to see often and I’m excited because some of the breakout sessions look tailor-made for the writing-block issues I’ve been having. But I don’t want to wait until the writing conference to really start writing again so I’ve been trying to figure out how to break through. Being ill so much doesn’t help – even tonight I had to cancel on my plans because I barely had the energy to walk home; going back out – even for a night of fun – is unthinkable. But I’m working on getting my health back and I know it’ll come in time.
Otherwise, for those times when I do have energy, how can I break through my persistent writer’s block?
I stopped into the main branch of my library the other day. They have a fantastic kids/young adult section so I thought maybe something would strike me to read. Two somethings struck me. I’m reading one of them now: Shadow Breakers.
I’m not sure what it was about the paragraph I’m reading that made me suddenly start thinking about my novel in a different way; maybe it was something about the way it was written in combination with thinking about the writing conference but suddenly I had a very scary but very cool idea…
I could start over.
I could start my whole novel over. Every time I think about trying to get all the disparate sections and characters and scenes together into a cohesive timeline, I cringe because I know it can’t be done. A lot of that writing I now feel was prep work and not part of the actual first draft. I never thought I’d be one to start from scratch – still not sure I can – but the idea is getting me excited. I know what the story is in my head so I could abandon what I’ve written, start a fresh outline and start a fresh draft. Then, if I want, I can go back and mine this first draft for anything I might have missed in the second writing and add it in. But I may not want to and that would be okay.
Wow. I could start over.
I feel a weight lifted off when I think that. Now let’s see how I feel about it when I actually do it!