Monday, February 9, 2009

Taking a Step Back

This week we're talking about getting out of a writing funk. It could be a little funk or a big funk. It doesn't matter--the same principles apply.
I've realized before you can solve a problem, you have to understand the nature of it. Sometimes you're too close to the problem, and sometimes you're not close enough.
When you're too close, you feel stressed out about your work. The right words might not come. The plot of your book or story weaves in and out of your head all the time until you can't even remember your initial vision. Or you're so obsessed with finishing a book, you forget to find the joy in your daily life.
When you're too close to your project, the only way to regain balance is to take a step back.
I'm currently revising (for what feels like the eighteenth time) a romantic suspense I wrote last fall. Unfortunately, life has thrown a few hiccups my way and in order to stay on my personal deadline I've been cramming the revisions in. That's okay for a day or two, but after a week, I stopped. I want to enjoy life, not just get through it.
This morning, I took a long walk in the park. Sure, the 23 degree temperature was cold, but it seemed warmer since the past few weeks have been much colder. The silence of nature, the pastel blue of the sky, the white of the snow, and the faint sunbeams all calmed me. I couldn't keep the smile off of my face as I drove home. Since I felt relaxed, my eyes drifted up to the top of a tree and I noticed the most amazing thing: two bald eagles rested in the treetop.
If I wouldn't have slowed down and taken a break to walk, my mind would not have been quiet enough to notice the world around me.
I would have missed the bald eagles!
I don't know if you'll see two bald eagles, but quieting your mind will open it up to the beauty around you. Isn't that what this journey is all about? I think I'd be a terrible writer if I didn't stop and look around.
What energizes you? What calms you? What frivolous joy can you do for yourself today?
Join me on Wednesday when we'll be discussing other ways to gain a little distance from your projects.
Get Motivated! It's Monday!

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