There is a strange thing about writing. Some days the words come so easily it’s as if someone were in your brain, dictating. You fingers can’t keep up as the ideas flow, tumbling over each other like acrobats. The perfect expression comes to mind before you are aware that you need it. Your descriptions are a copy writer’s dream and the characters become so real in your head you swear you would recognize them on the street.
Then there are the days when you have to drag each word from your brain like getting a reluctant child to brush his teeth. You mind whines, I don’t wanna do this. A thousand distractions keep you jumping up from your seat. Even if discipline kicks in, you spend more time staring at the keyboard than typing. When you do type, the words seem leaden and lifeless. No one is going to read this stuff! someone inside your psyche whispers. Give it up and become a plumber. There’s a lot of money to be made in plumbing.
But you keep on, doggedly typing, backspacing, and typing again. I say typing, not writing, because it seems that’s all you are doing. It is an agonizing effort in futility and when you finally complete your daily quota you leave your desk not so much satisfied as needing a stiff drink (a mimosa, maybe?).
Guess what? On going back and reading the page the next day, there isn’t all that much difference between the two approaches. The words you sweated over need some work: a tweak here, a different phrase there. But it works. There are even a few high points you didn’t recognize at the time.
As for the pages that seemed to come from divine inspiration, it’s the same deal. Some descriptions you thought were wonderful now read as a tad florid. You realize the dialogue you loved yesterday is forced, and worse, not in character. Unless you make major personality changes, readers will instantly know the heroine wouldn’t have uttered those words unless a gun was pressed to her temple.
So I don’t get too excited when it all seems to flow like a river giggling and dancing its way to the bottom of the mountain. I know I will still need to revise, because I will find errors. And when writing becomes as painful as removing an impacted wisdom tooth, I don’t give up in despair because I know somewhere in those pages are a few solid passages I can build on.
That pretty much sums it up. How is it for you? Does it always come easily or do you have days where the words hide out and never show themselves at all?
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