January 9, 2007

I finally caught a break…

Wow, this last week has been tough. Every time I sat down to write, I thought to myself, ‘okay, this is it, let’s go’ and then something would happen to keep me from getting anything accomplished. From my husband’s minor car accident (he’s fine), to the emergency trip to the vet for the dog. My son broke his toe at a birthday party and had to call and tell me about it, and my other son came down with an ear infection. But the worst part was that when I did find time to write, it just wouldn’t come.

I tried brain drain, online puzzle games, and my favorite trick, Hostess golden cupcakes. Okay, so that last one isn’t as much about unclogging the mind as it is about pleasing myself, but hey, I tried. Nothing worked. Until last night, when I finally decided to chuck it and write out of order.

To some people this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I’ve never been one that could do this. I’m a 'pantser', meaning I don’t plot, chart, or do anything more complicated that jot thoughts into a spiral notebook that goes with me everywhere I travel. For me, I learn the story from the characters as they tell it to me; my fingers typing as quickly as a woman who never had a typing class in her life can type. This usually means that I write a story from beginning to end, in order. Not so last night.

I have to tell you, sitting down and writing the black moment broke me from my slump and things seem to be moving along at a pretty consistent clip now. Getting it on paper (or on computer as the case may be) really helped me to see where my characters were and where they were going. This, in turn, helped me to see just what I needed the reader to see at the point I was at in my WIP. I’m thrilled to say, I’m now back on track.

Are there any tricks you use when you hit a slump in your day job? Diet Coke, cupcakes, an hour in the gym? What are they?


JT said...

If I'm in a slump - I get a diet coke, some dark chocolate and start e-mailing you! Or maybe it's you e-mailing me. Or maybe we just do that daily, kind of like changing our underwear!

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

Hi Sarah! I had to chime in on your blog! I see you on Jen's all the time. I love your pic BTW. I think you look like Lady Di. Do you get told that alot? You should! (no, I'm not a stalker - I'm Jen's bunny friend and fellow fly girl!)

Oh, and I LOVE your hot and steamy cover for without risk. It looks so intense and well, HOT. Jen gave us the bookcard thingies to pass around.

Glad to meet a fellow pantser! I tend to do what you do. If I'm blocked, I TRY to move on. Even though I'm writing crap, I try to plow thru it. If that doesn't work, I'll play out the scene that is sticking foremost in my head. THAT usually does it! Then I can go back and say "okay, in order to get to that scene, you guys have to do THIS-" and there you have it!

Thanks for stopping by the Fly Girls too!!!

Sarah Grimm said...

Barbie Jo, hey, thanks for stopping by! You know, I didn't really like my cover at first, but now I love it.

No, I don't get told I look like Lady Di alot, but I have been told it before. I used to have a haircut that was just like hers at the time.

I'm glad you're a pantser. Jen talking about all her white boards and charts makes my head hurt! I can't fathom doing that. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just not anything I can do.