post by Lynn
A fat, black fly, slowed by cool weather, bangs against the window pane in my writing room. He can see where he wants to go – to the stretch of green grass outside – but he can’t reach it the way he thinks he ought to be able to reach it. He's centimeters away from freedom, but he can’t get there.
I can relate. In my writing, I often see the story, just right there, through the mist of my imagination. And yet I bang against the words on the page, hit delete, bang again and again.
In order to break through to the lushness I originally envisioned, I’m finding out that I have to redirect. Unlike the unfortunate fly, I can do that. I can make choices, experiment and not just bang away until I die. Phew!
My favorite tool in this case is time. I step away from that particular piece of writing and redirect my energy to something that proves to be more permeable in the moment. If I can’t dredge up enough dialogue to flesh out the scene in the story I’m working on, I pivot and go where the energy is flowing – maybe to a poem/lyric essay, because something has been handing me imagery in my sleep.
Or sometimes I have to keep studying, reading, and doing writing exercises until my abilities move up to the level of the story and I learn the exact thing I need in order to write the next words.
My redirection is rewarded when the window to the world I was originally working on opens just enough to let me slip through.
What about your writing process? Do you redirect, go straight for it, or what?