There is no magic pen that writes our stories for us
Imagine the disappointment when I found this out. This whole time I thought something came over writers and they just magically, with little effort had complete stories written and in order. There are a few people out there capable of doing this but for most of us it doesn’t work that way. I think I had my biggest realization when I read Stephen King’s Danse Macabre. He said we(creators) are given a dull knife and we don’t simply carve our work, we bludgeon it.
Stop, take a second to think about that.
Bludgeoning your art?! That sounds like an art in itself; especially as a new writer. You gotta learn how to do that shit. You gotta learn to divorce the draft. To be able to say “Goodbye 3500 words that are completely useless to my plot.” However, I confess that I don’t always delete my words permanently. I copy and paste my unfit words to their own page with hopes that I can use them later. But seriously bludgeoning is hard work!
That idea has helped me to be more accountable for myself. I do have nights where I have a disappointing amount of writing done. That’s when the writers guilt comes along with nightmares about my work being finished and turned into something fluffy and cutsey. Gag. So for those of you who believe in the magic pen theory, I’m sorry to disappoint you but happy to help you be more accountable. Start bludgeoning. Get that dull knife and make the magic happen with hard work and focus!
Here’s a great article on divorcing your draft by Jeri Walker. I’m currently going through the book she got this from Discovering the writer within by Bruce Ballenger and Barry Lane and I’m a huge fan. It definitely has it’s challenges. I’m in a fight with it right now. They ask for so much sometimes!