Monday, July 12, 2010

Write What’s Right...for Right Now

Feeling blocked on a creative project? Before you call it writer's block, consider whether what you’re writing is the right idea for you right now.

Maybe it’s the right idea for someone else but not for you. Maybe it will be the right idea for you at some point in the future. Or maybe this project was right for you when you began it, but isn't right for you anymore.

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 cut me off when it did.

As it turned out, a five month absence from the manuscript gave me the life experience I needed in order to be able to catch up with the story and 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.

Remember, no words you write are ever wasted. They're simply stepping stones on the journey to better words, a better draft or a better project.

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.

• Are you writing what's right for you right now?

• Are you forcing a project to completion when, perhaps, it's time to let go....for now or for good?

• How can you be more discerning...about your work, about your passion, about your timing?

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.

Need help with any aspect of your writing process or projects? One-on-one coaching/mentoring can help you unleash the power of your creative potential


Anonymous said...

Very well put. I've taken forced breaks before and it made my work better and easier to write.

Mark David Gerson said...

Thanks, James. Apparently, timing is everything!

Aireka Muse said...

PERFECT ADVICE FOR ME RIGHT NOW! I had been working on a project and another keeps calling me. Every time I keep returning to the original, it's been such a struggle. This post helped me realize that it's not the right project for me RIGHT NOW and that's okay! Thank you!

Mark David Gerson said...

It's all about discernment. Sounds like you're doing great!