Writing breakthroughs take time and effort (but mostly time)…

a writing on the wall

Sometimes I get stuck. Whether its foreshadowing what’s to come, describing a detail just right, or addressing a plot point without giving too much away. Whatever the problem is, the way through or around it doesn’t always present itself right away.

When this happens, I try not to stress out about it. If possible, I write on knowing I’ll have to come back to the problem later. Sometimes that later takes a really long time.

I like to think I’m a creative person (what writer doesn’t). Plot twists, character surprises, and subverting tropes are among my personal favorites. Sometimes, those elements get me off my path or into trouble. Getting back on track requires significant effort.

Sometimes, that effort isn’t enough. I have to let it go completely. I have a secret weapon against this kind of issue that I’m going to share with you. When all else fails, I take a nap.

The way my mind works, I won’t forget about the problem. Part of how I unwind before falling asleep is to think about the issues I have to deal with while I’m awake. The secret is, subconsciously I’m still attacking the problem . The solutions I come up with are far from 100%, and sometimes all I do is get in that nap.

But I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve jumped out of bed with a workable solution. Maybe its a gift of my muse. Or maybe my subconscious aligned all the pieces of the puzzle just right. Either way I can move forward with writing.

I’ve heard other writers talk about similar processes. Some call it meditation or something along those lines. Whatever it is, for some of us, not staring at the words on the page helps. So if you get stuck, give it a try. At worst, you’ll get a nap that may refresh you to keep trying!

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