Know When to Walk Away
By Andrea Merrell
“I’m stuck,” my friend said. “ I
don’t know what to do.”
It happens in every area of life. We hit a roadblock. We can’t keep moving forward, and we can’t seem to find a way around it.
So what do we do when this
happens in our writing? We’ve worked on a project for months, maybe years, and
we can’t seem to finish. Or maybe there are sections we’re not happy with. For
many it’s that dreaded first page or the initial hook. Then again, life gets in
the way when we least expect it.
Getting stuck can mean any number
of things. What’s the solution? Let’s look at three:
For me, this is the worst
possible answer. When God calls us to write, He places a dream in our heart. A
passion to point others to Him through our words. We should never give up on
that dream. Our words may never make it to the best-seller list, but we never know
whose life they may change.
The Bible says, “Without good
direction, people lose their way; the more wise
counsel you follow, the better your chances” (Proverbs 11:14 MSG). Just be sure
not to go overboard with too much advice (trust me, it can be overwhelming),
and choose your advisers carefully. Find a good critique group or buddy who can encourage you, be honest with you, and help you move forward.
Sounds like give
up, right? Not at all. Let me give you an example. I play on online game called
Wordscapes where I create words out of a series of letters. It looks much like
a crossword puzzle. Some screens are easy, others not so much. What I’ve found
is that when I get stuck and walk away—even for a few minutes—the screen looks
different when I return. I’ve given my eyes and my mind a break, and now I see
from a new perspective.
from time to time is a normal problem for most writers. But we should never let
it discourage or derail us. We can benefit greatly from putting that project aside and
concentrating on something else for a while.
If your novel
needs work, take the time to write a blog post or devotion. Catch up on your
emails. Find a different place to write. Brainstorm with a friend. Take a walk.
But before you do anything, pray. Whatever you do, just take a break. It might
be for a day, a week, or months, but fresh eyes mean a fresh start.
God is the Master
Creator, and He has placed creativity inside us. Ask Him to stir that
creativity and give you new ideas. You might be amazed at the results.
What do you do
when you get stuck? We would love to hear your suggestions.