On Friday, Robin LaFevers (author of two children’s series and one YA series that looks amazing – it involves nun assassins!), wrote an amazing and timely post for – what else? – Writer Unboxed about some of the ways in which fear impedes our writing.
For a while now, I’ve been struggling with my WIP. I have been working toward my usual word quota – which is how I thought I could best motivate myself. But the story hasn’t felt right for a while, and I really hit a wall on Friday. And then I read that LaFevers – a writer who has written 14+ published books – had similar feelings on her most recent manuscript. And it was kind of nice to know that this sort of thing happens to seasoned professionals as well.
However, as nice as it was to be able to feel less alone in this, what LaFevers did to get out of her writing funk was pretty terrifying, too.
She removed 7,000 words from her manuscript. Chop, chop.
In her words:
I woke up to the fact that I was writing the wrong damn book and had to delete the FIRST TWO HUNDRED PAGES OF THE MANUSCRIPT.
Now, that’s scary!
But it made me realize what a part of me has been whispering for months: I’m writing the wrong thing, too. All the stuff that inspires me and is cool about my current WIP? Yeah, it needs to be center stage – not something that I “can’t wait to get to in the third act”.
So, I’ve taken out the scissors and glue and am cutting out the things that don’t work and adding to the things that do. I’m not sure how much of my 160 pages I’m keeping…but I guess we’ll see.
Sure, there’s still plenty of fear involved, but, for the first time in a few weeks, I feel like I’m getting back on track.