Writers and Printers

My printer can be somewhat emotional. On the rare occasion, I hit PRINT rather than SAVE. The easy solution is supposed to be 1) click on the little icon and 2) cancel the “Print Job”. My printer, however, does not like to be pushed about. Seems I can’t just go willy-nilly telling it to print one second and then to stop the next!

Just the other day this happened with some random notes I had typed up. After all my magic tricks (right down to ctrl+alt+del) my laser printer still felt the need to put down 40 pages of information that were good for nothing but advancing global warming. My printer refused to listen to me.

I think often as a writer, I can be the same way my printer is.

There are times when the cosmos are telling me to let an idea simmer and work on something new. But I just bang away at it. Dragging the story from my Muse rather than wooing it. I can’t always see that the best way to improve the plot (or characters or whatever) I’m stuck on but I can get hell bent on meeting my word count/page count goal for the day.

I’ve been especially noticing this tendency now that my broken elbow is better. I feel like all my other ailments should go away and I should be typing a novel a minute! Well, maybe not that much, but certainly more than I’m getting done…which is nothing at the moment.

Normally, you hear this sort of conversation in reverse. You know, never giving up and all that good stuff. I don’t mean that the lesson to take away from this is for me to quit, rather just stop using brute force. Our Muses will want our story a certain way for reasons we don’t yet see. Perhaps until we can hear what it’s telling us, we should work on something new to meet the word count for the day. Sometimes the reason I’m stuck is that I am not listening to my creative voice; much the way my printer doesn’t always listen to me.

Our Muses will want our story a certain way for reasons we don’t always see right off. Perhaps until I can hear what it’s telling me, I should work on some of my other WIPs (Works In Progress) to meet my word count for the day. Sometimes, I think,  the reason I’m stuck is that I am not listening to my creative voice; much the way my printer doesn’t always listen to me but just pukes out useless pages!

I need to work on the idea of pausing a project rather than try force myself to print it.

I can’t be the only one to experience this. Even if it’s not writing related, what do YOU do when you’re stuck? I long for your input -meet me in the comments section!

6 Comments

  1. Sae Sae Norris said:

    *raucous applause* This is such good advice! I’m usually pretty good about taking breaks if I’m stuck, but sometimes I realise my breaks turn into avoidance. I realized this the other day with my own novel. I knew what scene came next (I thought) and what you write. But if sit down and nothing. Do I’ve started writing my novel pout of order. I’ll tile a chapter working title and a one sentence reminder of what scene it is I’m avoiding ans jyst move on to the next.

    I had a ton of ideas this past weekend. Full scenes. Yet when I went to type them I had to just had to write down my single sentence and mice info. Turns out I had to work out the logistics — names of all my characters, their personalities and weapons preferences. Then I had to decide oon the names and sects of religions, then draw a map and determine what my world literally looks like, what it’s called, and how far apart everything is.

    It was insanely useful. Even though I didn’t get to the story I still had the pleasure of discovering my world and its secrets. Good advice, sister! (And I love the Yoda pic! )

    July 10, 2017
    Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      Thanks, Sneestor! I’m really glad this was helpful to you! I’m very excited about your novel and I’m glad you’re making progress with it! Consider me in line to be a beta reader! Thanks so much for reading and cheering me on, you are always so supportive! xoxo

      July 10, 2017
      Reply
  2. When I get stuck I find another creative outlet. If that doesn’t work, I’ll either force my way through, believing in the miracle of the second draft, or skip ahead.
    I’m not a big believer in the “Muse” as that sounds like an outside force and we write at their whimsy. Creativity comes from me. Any plot problems come from me. Generally, deep down, the answer is there, but sometimes it has to simmer to the surface.
    Keep working on writing every day. Reluctant or forced word count is better than none.

    July 10, 2017
    Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      I couldn’t agree more! Words on the page or far better than a blank page any day! Thanks for sharing your Insight. And thanks for reading I appreciate it.

      July 10, 2017
      Reply
  3. Kathie Fong Yoneda said:

    Love your analogy, Amy! After reading your blog this morning, i wondered if my printer has the same mindset as yours as it occasionally acts as if it has a mind of its own! Shifting to another project or task sounds like a workable idea to me !

    July 10, 2017
    Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      Thanks for reading Kathie! Your support always lifts me up. XoXo

      July 10, 2017
      Reply

Leave a Reply to Sae Sae Norris Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *