Yesterday my life was awful. I felt discouraged, stuck, overwhelmed and unlovable. Yet, nothing had changed from the day before, when everything was fine. Today, I’m upbeat, tackling chores and creative projects with verve, hope and confidence. Nothing in my life has really changed. So, what happened? For me, it’s a simple but all too often overlooked answer. Two nights ago, I stayed up till 2:00 AM talking to my friend and critique partner, Stephanie on the phone. So, only 4 hours sleep. Last night, I made up for it with 9 solid hours. So, my advice to all my writing and non-writing friends: GET SOME SLEEP!
Sometimes problems in our writing can also be fixed with simple but overlooked options. One of my favorites is this: Just leave it out. If you’ve reworked a sentence or paragraph repeatedly and it still feels awkward, jarring or doesn’t lead naturally to the next, if it’s out of place and you can’t figure out where it fits, well, can you just leave it out altogether? Do you really need it? Is there a scene that drags? If you cut it, will it be missed? Or perhaps reduce it to a sentence or two. At least stop fretting about it, let it rest and see if it looks or feels different tomorrow. “Rests” in music are part of the whole conception of the composition. They should be part of our lives and our writing as well.