Sometimes progress isn’t going forward, but going in reverse. There are times when we must stop, back up, maybe even print out that manuscript and set it on fire. I wouldn’t recommend that last part, but hey, whatever works.
I’ve been struggling to write a story with a rapidly approaching deadline. My muse finally decided to arrive, but rather than fill my head with beautiful prose, I was motivated to delete the three pages it took me all week to trudge through.
The choice was difficult. I worked hard to write those three pages: I was getting closer to the required word count, the story was moving along, and it was leading where I ultimately wanted it to go. But it didn’t feel right. The character seemed to stumble wherever I put him. I was giving him bad ground to walk on.
Frustrated and in remorse of wasting a week’s work, I shook it off and kept at it. In one night I replaced those three pages with plenty more and my writing mojo is back in full swing. The character is walking through the story with ease, no longer tripped up by the events obstructing his reality.
I took three steps back and dashed forward with the speed of a raging (some creature I haven’t thought up yet).