Knowing When to Step Away

There have been many times when I grew excited about the novel I was working on. My fingers would start typing on my keyboard and my mind would drift into the thrill of creating the story. As great as it was for me to be excited, it was also a bit of a problem. The excitement I felt actually pulled me away from writing my story a few times. I would write a scene and think I bet the readers will get a great laugh from that line. Then I allow myself to image random people in my mind laughing or discussing how it made them feel. The next thing I know I’m switching the intense moment into a laughing moment. That’s something I want to avoid at all costs.

When I write, I do my best to become wrapped up in the story I’m telling. I try to focus on the scene I’m creating and do my best to forget about all other moments of my novel. If I can’t keep my mind in the scene then there’s a large chance I might forget to include an important detail or I might add something too soon. With the novel I’m currently writing, I have stepped away from scheming up the storyline many times. There have even been a time or two when I only wrote one sentence about the book and had to walk away. If I can’t stay in the scene then I will most likely destroy my story.

It’s not always easy for me to tell when I’m not wrapped in writing. Sometimes I have those background thoughts that I briefly think about. They are simple thoughts which pass through my mind. Did I clean the cat litter boxes this morning? I wonder what Nick plans to make for dinner? When will I need to leave to make my appointment? All those thoughts are innocent enough and most of them have easy answers. Usually, I can answer them and return to my work, but on occasion the answers make me think about other facts. Did I clean the boxes this morning? Yes, but I’m getting low on cat litter. I need to add it to my shopping list. Oh, where did my phone go? It’s on the charger. I wonder if it’s fully charged. Ah, great it’s done charging! Look, I have a new Facebook post. I better check it out because obviously that’s more important than whatever I was working on. And those lines of thought occur in a blink of an eye and I’m immediately ripped from writing. I think that’s fine, as long as I don’t try and write while all those thoughts are innocently bouncing around in my mind. I feel it’s best for me to address every thoughts and step away from my writing. Once I’ve found the answers and given myself time to clear my mind I know it will be safe to get back to writing. An easy problem to fix.

How do you clear up your mind when you’re writing?

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