Distractions · Procrastination · Reflection · Uncategorized · Writing Process

Chewing The WIP and Never Getting Anywhere


With chewing gum, I expect to gnaw and gnaw and get not further than sucking the flavor out of the mass. Certain foods mimic gum in that I could chew them forever, and they are still rendered inedible (I adore chicken-flavored pseudo chewing gum. Who doesn’t?). But what about a WIP that seems to be going in circles with no end in sight?

Even with proclamations that I would finish Little Rooms, toss it to my beta reading crew and move on, I simply haven’t gone as far as originally intended. Instead, I edited what I’d already written, adding bits, pieces and other goodies to the verbiage in hopes of making it even better! Well, my good intentions  made the chewing process even longer. And now my jaws are tired.

Why can’t I just swallow my pride and get the WIP done? If I can’t even do that, maybe I should spit it out into one of my filing cabinets, slam the drawer and get something new to eat… something lighter, sweeter and not so difficult for my teeth to mash.

God, I wish it could be that easy. It’s not, because my “mother” is sitting across from my computer, staring me down in an attempt to get me to finish the last bite. If I clean my WIP, I’ll get a reprieve for dessert! Don’t I know there are writers all over the world STARVING for a WIP that’s almost ready to go? If I don’t finish my WIP, I’ll have to eat it tomorrow when it’s more congealed and stale than it was today.

I’m losing my appetite, which has me thinking about something my writer buddy Sheila Redling said about “feeling the heavy-lidded magic” that comes from a story you cannot stay away from. You dream about it, lust for the characters and create new twists in your head on a consistent, if not hyperactive, level. She understands all too well the drudgery of working on a WIP you do not love… one where the story is good and the best of intentions are present… but your heart is elsewhere. She listened to her heart, and is as happy as a tornado in a trailer park (to quote Mater from CARS). As for me, I’m still at the table with my napkin tucked into my shirt, looking forward to the next meal but unable to start it.

Maybe I could shove this WIP into my shoe and dump it when I take the trash out later? Or I could feed it to the dog. Well, I could even spit it out into my napkin, but it’s too big right now and my “mother” would surely see it.

So I sit. And I chew. Chew. Chew. How about you?

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4 thoughts on “Chewing The WIP and Never Getting Anywhere

  1. If I’m passionate about a troublesome wip, I’ll keep going, even though it seems never-ending. But sometimes I lose the passion completely and I have to stop. I feel that even with a good story idea, my words and characters seem lifeless.

  2. I’ve gotten to this point before and I just say, “Oh, what the hell” and just start typing away, telling myself it doesn’t matter. It seems to liberate me from all that worrying. If it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, well, it was good practice for the thing I really WANT to write.

    Sometimes we have to set our brains aside in order to write. 🙂 They are such meddlers! So set yourself free from all the worries and just type towards the finish line. 🙂

  3. Aw, thanks for the love, Duck! We all know this blissful path I’m on at the beginning of a project will soon be fraught with peril and hair pulling. Tis the way. As a writer, your friend and a huge fan of your work, I’m ordering you to put the old rawhide story aside for a while and let it rest. You’re just going to piss each other off if you keep bothering it. It makes no difference how close you are to the end. Everyone needs a break. Come back when you love it. And do me a favor, when I email you a nonsense email of gasps and tears and lamentations, give me the same advice. 🙂

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