At what point do you look at a project and say “This just isn’t working out.”?
I’ve been staring at the same scene in my novel for the past month and a half, and zilch. No inspirtion, nothing to add to the story. I’ve been completly derailed. The literary part of my brain has been sitting dormant, doing absolutly nada.
Until this weekend, when I had an epihany. The only problem was, it wasn’t for Catalyst (my current project). It was an entirely new project, and when I started typing it, words and ideas just flowed out of my brain.
I don’t kid myself. I know that every project has its rough patches and its moments of “Seriously, this is the worst idea I’ve ever had.” But when an idea becomes stagnant in your head and you begin to dread sitting down to write, maybe it’s healthy to put it away for awhile.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not throwing Catalyst out. I’m just taking a moment away, focusing on something else for a bit. Hopefully when I go back to Catalyst, it will be with a fresh new outlook on the material.
The point is two-fold: First, it’s ok to step away. If a project is going no where, it’s alright to step back and gain some perspective. Just fill that space with something else. Allow your brain something else to work on.
Secondly, trust your process. I’m not the kind of writer who can give one project my undivided attention. I need two, to switch back and forth, to keep my mind awake and moving. It’s not the right way for everyone, but it’s right for me, and forcing myself to focus solely on one project is a disservice to both myself and the work. Find the process that works for you, and follow it. Linear, non-linear, one project or eight, outlined or fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants.