Friday, August 22, 2014

Sometimes You Have to get your Desk Messy

For at least a week now, I've been trying to make progress on a story that just wasn't...going. Oh sure, I was getting word count. But I didn't feel the satisfaction that would usually bring because while I love this story and I think it has potential, the words I was typing were going...nowhere.

Or at least, if they were going somewhere, I wasn't sure where that was.

To a non-writer, that probably doesn't make sense. But y'all know what I'm talking about. Every scene should do something, so say "they", and I think they're right. I'm not one of those super organized people who can tell you while I'm writing what exactly each of my scenes does, but there's a general feeling I can get when they are driving the story along like I mean for them too. The writing I did this past week? It might be driving the story forward...but I just wasn't sure.

So yesterday I decided to forget about word count. I decided to remind myself that I love writing for more than the desire to see the happy little progress tracker in Scrivener move closer towards "the end." I love creating characters that seem real, getting so lost in a story that writing seems natural--more like writing a movie in my head--and I had forgotten that in my quest for measurable progress.

So I got my desk messy. I printed a rough synopsis, brought out my blue highlighter, scrap paper, a pencil, caffeine (coke yesterday, coffee today), and I'm having fun. Is the deadline (aka, the ACFW Conference) sneaking up on me a little and making something in the back of my head whisper that I need to quit "working" on the story on actually write it? Yes. Am I ignoring that for now? Yes.

Sometimes you have to get your desk messy. Sometimes that's all that can make all the parts of your story line up neatly and get organized.


  1. What? Progress Tracker? I haven't found that little gem yet. I think I need to get a little more self education on Scrivener...
    (Oh, and I absolutely know what you mean. Sometimes the words fill the page without effort and the story just unfolds itself. Then other times it goes for a drive in a cul-de-sac, round and round and round some more).

  2. Oh, the progress tracker is both good and bad. Haha, sometimes I check it every five minutes, when clearly I've written nothing... =) But super handy too!

  3. Yes, that progress tracker is good. But I understand when you feel as though your story hit a dead.end. Keep on going.