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Friday, February 10, 2012

Burnout and Inspiration

Have you ever gotten a really good start on your writing project, only to suddenly be forced to stop between scenes, because something feels off? And even after hours of trying to figure it out, going over it from every angle, you still come up with nothing? That's what I call "burnout" and it's a major pain in the neck.

Since last Wednesday I've been wracking my brain, trying to figure out why something felt off about my current scenes. I finally realized Monday night that it had to be that dreadful burnout. Because it wasn't a writer's block. I know where I'm going and have a rough idea mapped out of how I want to get there. But something still felt off.

Talk about frustrating! Not even walking away from it for the entire night helped. Every idea I came up with sounded lame. Reading other books to try and shake loose the creativity didn't help either. I spotted several mistakes in the book I read. Amateur mistakes that any editor could have caught, and this was a published book. I'm saving that rant for another post.

Back to the topic at hand. Burnout. How do you handle situations like this? What are some of your tricks that help you shake off the cobwebs and open your eyes?

I put the books away. Shut my computer off, intending to just let it lie for a while. Then while I was cooking dinner, and cuddling with my husband. Bam! An idea smacked me in the face. I couldn't grab my notebook and jot down the notes fast enough. Weird huh?

Where are you when inspiration strikes? In the shower? Outside hanging laundry? It can strike anywhere, and when we least expect it. I cannot stress the importance of keeping a pen and paper {preferably a notebook} handy for times just like this.

Thanks to my breakthrough, I've started on the next scene, incorporating my newest idea and everything finally seems to be smooth as glass again. Talk about relieved! I'm back in my groove and the MS is shining with allure once again.

Not only that, but I had a huge revision run through my head for my Nano novel as week, from plot structure, to deepening the characterizations. I even noted some scenes I want to add. I quickly grabbed my notebook and pen and scribbled down half a notebook of notes. Talk about shocked!

I haven't even looked at or thought about that thing since the end of December. I'll have to stock up on ink pens and new notebooks soon, but I'm not complaining. Quite the opposite. I'm thrilled it's all coming to me. My only worry for now is running out of ink and paper.

I can always go through later and expand on those ideas, delete some if need be, but for now I'm just glad to have them tucked away.

So, how do you keep track of your multiplying plot bunnies when ideas strike? Do you type them up or jot them in a notebook? Do you just hope to remember them later and risk losing them forever? Don't be shy to share your experiences and ideas with me.

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