Writing Inspiration: What Do Your Nerves Tell You?
Yesterday I told you I had a kick-ass (one can only hope) post on letting go ready for you. Then I got distracted by the need to write about the Sopa Strike. And now here you are and you're reading a post on nerves. What gives? It makes more sense to write about nerves first and then letting go.
At least to me.
So, here's the story. On Sunday, I wrote up the notes for Session Two of my Make Money Writing class. I did a dry run. I was happy, I felt ready.
Monday morning I awoke with a vague sense of nervousness and when I thought about it, I realized it was around the class. Now, I always get a little nervous when I'm presenting a class. And in this case, a few little nerves are good because they are about me wanting the class to be good, and full of useful information.
But on this day it was more than just pre-class jitters. The more I thought about it, the more I realized something was wrong. So I went back to the notes. Realized I had to rearrange one section. And add another. Did another dry run. This time I felt peace.
And the class was great. (At least, I thought so.)
But this incident got me thinking how often nerves are a signal that something isn't working. There are nerves and then there are nerves. And we need to learn to pay attention to nerves.
The same thing happens in writing. The feeling may not manifest exactly as nerves, but in an emotion closely related. You may have a vague idea that something isn't right, but you don't know what. Or perhaps it manifests as an inability to get to the page.
And here's the deal: that feeling is always a signal that something is wrong. Always. It may be something as simple as needing to rearrange and add things, as with me. Or it could be that the scene you are writing is taking place in the wrong location. Or with the wrong people. Maybe it is in the wrong order in your chronology.
So the moral of the story is to always, always, always pay attention to the feeling and try your best to identify what might be wrong. (Good ways to do this include the usual suspects of meditation, free writing, playing hooky, flopping about dramatically on the couch–whatever works for you.) You'll save yourself tons of time in the long run if you pay attention to your nerves.
Has anything like this every happened to you?
A couple of points of interest:
1. Jessica Baverstock, of Creativity's Workshop fame, is celebrating her 100th blog post today! She's appeared in these pages regularly, so go pay her a visit to congratulate her.
2. I have an interview over at Melissa Balmer's Womeonsocalbikes.org. Its about "Finding the Female Advocate's Voice," and its pretty cool.
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