Wednesday, June 01, 2011

When Not Writing is Actually a Good Thing

A man I am very close to has this amazing way of controlling his dreams. When something happens that he doesn't like, or that isn't 'real', or that is just implausible his mental voice over-rides the dream and says 'Stop! That isn't how it goes.' His dreams then rewind and play out in the approved manner.

I sometimes envy this ability to 'will' things into behaving. I wish I had it, I wish I could use it in my writing; but I don't and I can't. My dreams and my stories are independently minded. They go where they want, say what they want, and ignore my feeble attempts to reign in their unruliness.

Sometimes this means I dream of being lost in the woods. Sometimes this means I get bogged down in the muck of editing and lose my way. Sometimes this means I need to wake up, to take a break, to change my focus.

I took a 4 day holiday over the long weekend, and didn't think of my book once! Well, OK, I thought about it - but I didn't write, I didn't edit, I didn't worry. I feel much better now. The woods of editing are still dark and tangled and filled with bogs and rhododendron hells; but now, I know the direction I am going and can see the path that leads out of the gloom into the light of a finished story.

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