The Simplest Cure

sleeping babyYesterday 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.

About Lida Bushloper

writer and poet
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4 Responses to The Simplest Cure

  1. Van says:

    Good insight, and valuable advice, too!


  2. trishafaye says:

    I so agree with you! I’ve noticed that myself. The nights I’m up too late and get six or less hours sleep, I wake up feeling so overwhelmed and feeling tired of the struggle. On nights with seven or more hours sleep, I wake up raring to go and excited about it all.
    I’m so glad to see you write this!


  3. Thanks so much, Trisha. I’m glad you appreciated my thoughts and conclusions. Yet, I never learn. I keep making the same foolish action over and over. On the other hand, part of me is willing to pay the price. My friendship with my CP is so valuable to me, that sometimes it’s worth it to spend the time and late hours for the sake of it. At least we’re still able to recover, after a couple of good nights’ rest. Lida


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