As usual, this post was inspired by something else. Go figure. The lucky source of inspiration today is . . . Lady Glamis! Why? Well, because she wrote this really in-depth post called diving deep on her blog.
So, you know the drill, hop on over there, read the post, and then come back here.
Okay, since you've read the post (you better have, because otherwise nothing I'm writing here is going to make the least bit of sense) . . .
Question: do you let your instinct, intuition, guide you when you're writing?
If you answered heck, yeah! then there's no need to keep reading this post. If you went huh?, then you might want to keep reading.
I've learned to trust my instinct when writing. Heck, I've learned to trust my instinct in life. The few times I've ignored my instinct bad, very bad, things have happened.
So, I'm writing along, word after word, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph, watch those pesky adverbs, chapter after chapter, and then - suddenly (sorry, couldn't resist) - BAM! I hit the wall. My fingers freeze over the keyboard and my brain, well, my brain is at a standstill. There's not a single synapse synapsing, oh, except for the one sending this message: crap, now where was I going with this chapter. I recover from this moment and begin typing again . . . slower, slower, slower still, even more slowly (creep, creep, creep), and then the fingers are hovering above the keyboard again and my brow is furrowed in intent concentration.
The Void. Writer's Block. Dramatic Overwhelm. Okay, if you don't know what dramatic overwhelm means, then you've obviously not read the post I insisted you read.
Okay, maybe it's not exactly the dramatic overwhelm Lady Glamis talked about, but the very ideal made me start thinking about instinct and how, in trusting my instinct, I'm better able to write.
I think every writer experiences dramatic overwhelm at some point.
I also think we (or at least some of us) subconsciously recognize the moment we enter into the realm of overwhelm.
When I get stuck in my writing, when a chapter is just not working, I step away for a day and then come back with fresh eyes. In most instances, I erase what I wrote the day before and begin anew. I think I recognized that something wasn't working, so my instincts made me stop.
I also think the deeper we dive, the better our writing will become. I know when I've written strictly from my heart, no thought of audience or what people might think, I've written some of the best stuff I can possible write. It is when I write while considering what others might think that my writing becomes sluggish and, possibly, it is that moment when I enter the realm of overwhelm.
Yes, I know, we need to consider our audience. I just think when we pay too much attention to what other's think, then we begin to lose something of ourselves.
There will come a point when we must consider our audience. It's when we have an agent, an editor, and a publisher willing to take a chance on our brilliance. It is then, when the agent and/or editor says . . . well, you need to change this, this, that, this, that, this, oh, and could you eliminate entirely Chapter 22. Yes, we'll fight for our writing, our beliefs, and everything else, but I would like to hope that I, at that point in time, would be able to recognize that perhaps the changes I'm being asked to make are because I became mired in Dramatic Overwhelm.
In the end, or perhaps the beginning, we (I) must rely on our (my) instinct to guide us (me) past the moments of overwhelm and onto the brilliance we (I) am capable of achieving.
For some, it will be an extensive outlining process. For some, there will be index cards strewn throughout their offices. For some, there will be haphazard notes here, there, and everywhere (this is possibly me, but I'm not telling for sure). We all write as we write, and we write how we are comfortable, and, most important of all, we should let our instincts guide us.
When you hit the wall, the Void, the moment of writer's block, step back, close your eyes, and listen closely to your instinct. It is there, deep inside you, where you will find the path that particularl story needs to take.
So, dear readers, now the initial question falls back to you . . .do you let your instinct, intuition, guide you when you're writing?