Clunky Writing

Sometimes, especially when beginning a story, my fingers weigh about forty pounds. Each.

Sweat trickles down my forehead and I’m suddenly famished, even though I just ate a bag of chips ten minutes ago. Then there are the thoughts that pour through my head:

“This is terrible.”
“Where are you going with this?” – I get this even after planning the plot beforehand.
“Can’t you do any better?”

And writing feels terrible. My words are dull, plain, lacking pizazz. I get up from my seat behind the computer and, sometimes, I don’t come back. But I’ve come to realize the way I feel when I don’t return makes me feel more terrible than writing clunky. So I plod on, heavy fingered and creativity-free. Then a few things happen. I start to ask myself different questions. Better ones. Would the heroine say, “Let’s go”? And walk away? Or would she say, “Chop, chop.” And clap her hands to show she means business before marching down the sidewalk? Forcing myself to continue squeezes the snoozing creative buttons inside of me into operation. Not always as quickly as I’d like, but it does happen.

How to overcome the clunkiness? By pressing onward and pushing negative thoughts away. Far away. If we don’t move forward…oh, I can’t even contemplate that possibility. So I continue and switch direction. I consider what the character is wearing, smelling, feeling. What does she see on her right? Does her head hurt? Are her shoes too tight? I distract myself, for a moment or so, and then return my fingers to the keyboard. As I continue typing, I notice the fat dripping away. It’s like my own personal finger treadmill. We don’t expect to lose fat overnight, do we? (Well, maybe we do).

To get the juices flowing, we have to keep on. Soon, I type a little faster. My characters speak a little louder. And…progress happens. Isn’t that what we all want?

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6 years ago

That is exactly what I want. Thank you Lida, I learn a whole lot from you.

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