Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shifting Gears

Have you ever been driving down the road with a friend calling out directions in the passenger seat?  As you’re driving through an intersection your friend yells, “Turn right!” 

My in laws are known for this occurrence, which is usually followed by a scream of profanity from the driver.  Breaks are screeching.  Tires are squalling.  Everyone in the car flies forward a few inches…it isn’t fun.  But, the car ends up on the correct street.  Then, comes the uncomfortable moment when apologies are made and everyone checks for bruises as the car gains some speed.  This is the point I want to talk about today.

I recently had to slam on the breaks in my writing journey and turn onto a new street.  I abandoned my work in progress in favor of a different project.  This “Street” is going to lead to my destination. That other road?  Not so much.  This is a lovely tree lined lane and I’m happy to be traveling on it, but I’m still rubbing the bruises caused by the sudden stop. 

My car is gaining momentum on this new path; however I’ve found I’m shoe shopping online more than I used to—we all cope in different ways I guess.  *winks* I think it’s the frustration over my current pace that has me turning to retail therapy.  When you go from speeding around corners to a Sunday drive in life, it’s a little depressing.  But, I’m pressing forward, which—I think—is all I can do.  I must admit though, I want to feel the wind in my hair again.  I want to see words fly by on the page.  I want to get into the meat and potatoes of this new story…

When life deals you a sudden stop how do you deal with it?  What do you do to gain speed again?

I’ve heard of authors having entire manuscripts complete by the time their proposals are rejected, but they never say how they got through it.  I have friends who have found their work environments changed in the blink of an eye and somehow they muddle through the change.  I know a few writers who scrap manuscripts and jump into another without any difficulty at all—I really wonder how they manage.  Life hands out a lot of sudden changes if you think about it.  So, what do we do?  Walk away for a minute to clear the mind? Jam on the gas pedal and scream “Go, go, go” to the steering wheel?  Shoe shop online?  I think I’m going to keep driving and see where this road takes me and perhaps do a little shoe shopping along the way.

Have you ever had to slam on the brakes and turn?  I would love to hear your story.


Heather McGovern said... mean shifting gears like putting your blog on a month hiatus so you can launch into a group blog project with some fellow writer badgirlz? Or completely stopping with your current WIP to edit your previous WIP in order to reach deadline? Yeah. Yeah, I think I know about this shifting gears, biz. :) I think shifting gears is going to be the norm for us in this line of work and not the exception. I confess I pretty much love the whole process, crazy though it may be! Sign me up for chaos and fire drills, nail biting and shenanigans!

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