Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Working through down times

Every writer has these times. Heck, we all do.
There are times when we stare at the computer screen and wonder what is going to happen next. There are times when we receive a rejection in the mail or poor scores on a contest and even bad reviews for our novels. So what do we do?

I am a big fan of Finding Nemo. It is amazing how many insightful things we find from Disney movies and in this case, it is Dory that has the answer. That's right, the bubble head fish with short term memory loss. Dory simply says to "just keep swimming," and guess what, that is the best lesson you can have when it comes to your writing.

Don't just stop what you are doing but keep going. There is a twist though. Don't dwell on the bad but learn from it and move on.

Now, I recommend several different approaches to The Dory Paradigm.

1) Work on something else. Sometimes we are working too hard on a project and have gotten too involved for us to really see the problem. Simply stepping away is enough.

2) Go read someone else's work. Take some time to digest and dissect the writing of someone really good and then reflect on your own work. It is amazing what you will find.

3) Go and read your good writing. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting your mind back on a positive light.

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