If you find yourself feeling blocked on a particular project, ask yourself whether what you’re writing is the right idea for you right now.
Perhaps it’s the right idea for someone else but not for you. Perhaps it will be the right idea for you at some future time. Or perhaps this project was right for you when you began it, but is no longer.
It’s possible that you’ve outgrown it. It’s also possible that you haven’t fully grown into it.
I was 100 pages into the first draft of The MoonQuest when I set it aside for what turned into a five-month hiatus.
The day I returned to the book, I was afraid to reread those 100 pages. I was afraid the manuscript wasn’t any good, and I was afraid I had outgrown it and would have to abandon it.
What I realized, once I began reading, was that I hadn’t been ready to continue with The MoonQuest and that’s why my Muse had cut me off when it did.
As it turned out, five months away from the book gave me the life experience I needed in order to be able to carry on. I began writing that same day and three months and 300 additional pages later, the first draft was done.
Sometimes, what seems a block is a matter of timing. Sometimes, it’s just not the right idea. When we drop a project or leave it incomplete, we don’t always know into which of those two categories it falls.
If your discernment tells you to let the project go, don’t mourn the perceived waste of time and energy. Trust that you will either return to it when the time is right or that you’ve gained all you needed from the experience and can now move on to other writing.
A wrong idea isn’t necessarily wrong for all time. But if it’s wrong for right now, let it go and free yourself to write what’s right. For you. Now.
Adapted from The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write. For excerpts from The Voice of the Muse book and CD, click here.
Photo: My daughter, Guinevere, in her MoonQuest t-shirt.