Maybe I’m too critical. Okay, so that’s not really in question. When it comes to my writing I am amazingly over-critical. The point is I’ll be writing something great, flowing along with the story almost as if the words are pouring onto the page straight form my brain. then it’ll happen. I’ll write something, sometimes a paragraph, sometimes a sentence, and it sucks. I’ll write a line like “And then there were horses.” or something. It’s not really a bad line. It might even belong somewhere, but it just doesn’t belong where I put it. And that’s when it starts to happen. The story starts to go off track. Nothing feels right anymore. My brain stutters, my hands freeze, and I’m suddenly convinced that it’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever written.
Stephen King once said that a writer should keep going, even when it feels like “you’re shoveling shit from a sitting position.” It’s good advice really. Sometimes the story seems to bog down, but you have to push through to get back on track. And sometimes that works, but for me sometimes it’s way better if I back up, find the place I screwed up and fix it. If I can find where I screwed up, that is.
If I can’t, then I’m in trouble. That means it’s not one screw up. It’s a bunch of little thing I have to track down. That’s when I get frustrated and want to stop. The trick I’ve figured out is to do just that, stop. It’s okay to stop when you’re getting frustrated. In fact, it’s probably a good idea. Sometimes taking a break can help you see clearer. I just make sure I don’t stop forever. Sooner or later I’ll drag my happy ass back to the chair and grab the story.