Archive for February 13th, 2012

They don’t call ’em growing pains for nothing. Inspiration and growth tend to come hand in hand. It’s always a scary but exciting time if you take the challenge presented to you. Whether this is moving apartments, getting married (or divorced), starting a new job or career, going back to school or giving yourself permission to try to earn a living as an artist, life has a way of pushing your boundaries and testing you.

I made the decision to change the game plan for this month and scrap the novel-a-month goal for February. Since I haven’t finished anything for the past 5 months, I knew something had to change. It no longer became a matter of writer’s block, the issue was far more sinister- writer’s apathy.

For me writer’s apathy is the most difficult with which to deal. How do you reclaim your passion and interest in the story if you’re butting heads with genres that you just have no inclination to work in? It’s important to try it out but I’m so tired of getting a few thousand words into a story before letting it go. The only way to shake this alarming trend is to get out of this structure completely. Sometimes you have to think outside the circle surrounding the box.

I’ve really enjoyed working in the novel format but there’s only so much I can do in a row. I’m hoping with a break from it, I can focus on shorter, tighter stories and I’ll be able to actually finish something. So with the change in formats naturally comes the change in goals as well. This month is all about seeing a writing project to the end regardless of the word count. So what if it’s 20,00 or 48,000 or 55,000 words. All I care about this month is that there is a finished manuscript.

Writing is a mental exercise and just like working out at the gym, it’s important to have variety. I don’t want to walk around lopsided; I’d much prefer being well-rounded and having dabbled in a wide variety of literary styles, structures and genres. Life is too short to stress over something that just isn’t gelling with your current situation. I’m taking full advantage of my executive powers. I’ve decided there are some battles you choose to fight and others you just steam roll over. So when inspiration strikes to make a change, don’t be afraid to run with it. The option has appeared for a reason.

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