Writing Wednesday: Letting Go

It's funny how themes seems to surface amongst many of my writer friends at the same time.

Whether it's being inundated with too many ideas all at the same time (I know I'm not alone in feeling this, as evidenced by fellow writers Aaron Polson and Barry Napier's recent blog posts) or letting go of various things that block our writing, it just shows you how, even though we're on our own different paths, we seem to go through many of the same trials tribulations and experiences.

So the theme lately seems to be letting go — from Jenny, who is letting go of expectation in favor of motivation, or Nicole, who is allowing her Muse to come through (even if it scares her) by letting go of a too-rigid mindset in order to tell a story unique to her.

Lately my own adventures in letting go seemed to be focused on putting aside stories that do not seem to be working. One of the comments on Nicole's post about being stuck on a story stemming not from writer's block but more about wanting to make the story work, even if it was flawed, really hit home to me.

If you've been reading my blog for the last little while you'll see that I keep adding more #WIPs to the pile rather then finishing them.

It's hard to let go, especially when you've spent so much time on a story already, but I find that you can chip away at a story for so long, but eventually it comes to the point where you know whether the story is working or not. Often letting go is the best thing you can do. Maybe I'll be able to put the finishing touches on all those stories that are half-finished some day. But for now, I'm letting go of the ones that are stalled and going where my creativity is taking me instead of forcing myself to finish them simply for completion's sake.

I don't look at it as giving up or failing. It's not like I've put the tales completely out of their misery by trunking them. After all, my unfinished story trunk is a virtual one and it can always be opened again when the mood strikes me.

Maybe those ideas just need to percolate a little while longer…

My Current WIPS

  • the tweet-inspired tale is almost finished! Hoping to send it off to critique peeps next week
  • also hoping to brainstorm on that idea that started whispering to me last week
  • will be going through my current list of "stalled" WIPS and seeing which ones I can salvage

Fellow WIP Wednesday posse:

If you’re a writer participating in WIP Wednesday, post a link to your blog in the comments! More info on the WIP Wednesday initiative can be found at Kate Karyus Quinn's blog.

Fellow members of The Creative Alliance:

7 Responses to Writing Wednesday: Letting Go

  1. I have so many unfinished “this wasn’t working” stories on my hard drive. I was just going through them the other day, and I was kind of surprised. But it happens often, and I know I’ll get back to ’em when I know… you know. What to do with them. Lightning will strike again. Some ideas just aren’t born complete, right?

    Let us know how the idea pruning goes.
    .-= Katey´s last blog ..Really Not Shakespeare =-.

    • I think I have a good idea of which ones I would prune (if I wasn’t so stubborn and still determined to do them all). I love a challenge! That may be my downfall…

  2. If I could prune my ideas, it’d be a miracle. Right now I’m working on so many projects, I expect to have a nervous breakdown. I’ve let go of the expectation, but you never know. It’s a blessing and a curse to have so many ideas all at once, as I know for myself, only 1/4 to 1/2 of them will ever be actualized.

    It is funny thought, how closely our thought processes seem to be linked right now. It’s excellent and a little bit creepy all at once.
    .-= Jenny Beans´s last blog ..The Tao of Beans =-.

    • It is creepy – maybe we were podmates when the aliens came – and cool – we can celebrate and commiserate our over-achieving tendencies.

  3. I agree with Jenny. It’s a bit uncanny how our minds all seem to be on the same page.

    I do have some stories that I’m sure will never see the light of day. Some of them seemed like really great ideas at the time, but at some point I realized they weren’t going anywhere, so I put them into the vault, and that’s where they sit now.

    The thing is, though they aren’t finished, they still allowed me to write and flex my muscles, so in essence they were a success. And who knows, maybe one day certain scenes from these stories will appear in other works. Maybe they’re meant to sit in solitude until such a time arises where they’re needed.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..And the Flood Gates Have Opened =-.

    • The good thing about it is we can all relate to one another on another level. Often, writing is so solitary and we think we must be the only ones struggling, but as it turns out we are all in the same boat more than we think!

      I totally agree that even though the stories are not finished, we still benefit by having attempted them. Writing calisthenics!

  4. Mary, you are so right. Until I met all of you through Jenny, I struggled with feeling alone and misunderstood, like no one got where I was coming from. But now that I know all of you, I feel like I’m not alone and that there are people out there that understand the struggles I deal with when it comes to my writing.

    Before, if I said my characters are arguing with me, people would look at me like I had two heads. Now that I’m acquainted with other creative minds like myself, if I say something along those lines, you all can relate.

    I’m truly blessed to know each and everyone of you because you’re teaching me so much about myself. You’re teaching me to embrace what makes me different. So thanks!
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..And the Flood Gates Have Opened =-.

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