Have you ever run into a real snag when writing a story, a chapter, a scene? Or an essay, a poem or a how-to article? Of course you have. It's a part of our writing journey. We hit potholes more often than we'd like.
The bigger question is this--What do you do when you run into a problem that appears to be a wall so high you think there is no way to climb over it? There are choices that need to be made when this situation occurs. You can do any of the following:
- sit down in the road and cry like a two year old who has been told NO or is too tired to go on
- give up writing
- back up and think about the problem for a few minutes
- give up after that few minutes because the answer did not suddenly appear
- spend some real time thinking about the problem, make a list of possible ways out, then put it aside for a day or two
- ask for help from another writer (they sometimes see more clearly than the writer)
- take a detour--eliminate the problem situation altogether
- use a large dose of perseverance and keep working until you've found a workable solution
- walk away from the problem; come back when you're not so frustrated
In my younger years, I enjoyed sewing and making clothes for my daughter. Reading and interpreting pattern directions sometimes brought problems. I'd try to do what it appeared to say but it didn't always work. With each successive try, I'd rip out the former stitches and do it again. I learned that it was better to walk away and come back later in the day, or even the next day. So often, what seemed so difficult suddenly appeared to be just a step by step process to success. It was a good lesson for me when I started writing. If it doesn't work at first, step away; come back later and the answer could be crystal clear.
Giving up is easy and persevering can be tough. If you do persevere and work your way through a problem area in your writing, you'll come out the winner. Remember that perseverance and patience are buddies in your writing life. They walk the path with you, hand in hand.