View Full Version : Getting sick of actually WORKING on my WIP! Help!

04-16-2008, 05:09 PM
After I finished the first draft of my WIP novella, I let it sit and ferment for two weeks, and now I'm deciding to get back to it. Lots of wonderful ideas have been swimming in my head, and I can't wait to get them down into the computer....

Until I sit in front of the screen. Then I suddenly feel absolutely SICK about editing my work, and I never get it started, delaying it day by day! This is a very confusing situation I'm in. On the one hand, I am excited about editing my work - and I have no shortage of ideas, so this is not a Writer's Block. On the other hand, I get SICK of actually doing work... Not that I didn't try. I forced myself to stare at the empty screen, but while the ideas flowed freely while I was away from the computer, now, suddenly, they seem to clog up. I just don't know how to start, how to put it into words!

What's happening with me?

04-16-2008, 05:15 PM
Overload, from the sound of it. When this happens to me I change the setting - print it out, grab a notebook (the actual paper kind) and a good pen, and wander off to a cafe or a park bench or a little cabin in the woods. Or even just the porch. Sometimes just getting your story away from the computer screen can help.

That's how it works for me, anyway. Good luck!

04-16-2008, 05:22 PM
It just means you need to wait longer than two weeks ;) Sunna had a good idea too. Get away from that computer screen!

04-16-2008, 05:38 PM
Or maybe you could try to work on a different WIP or start something entirely new. By the time you're done with the first draft of your next project, maybe the completed project will be waiting with open arms for you to come in a edit away.
Anyway, that's the trap I fall into. But the point is that by the time my 3rd WIP was done, I could see how my writing had improved.

04-16-2008, 05:49 PM
One of my WIPs just doesn't seem like fun anymore, so I know what you mean. I'm turning to working on other things.

But there is one thing I'm going to try that I've done before and it works. I'm going to take that WIP and start asking, "What if?" Maybe turn the whole thing upside-down on its head. Then it usually becomes more interesting for me to work on.

And sunna and others have said it, too: change of scenery. Staring at a computer screen can turn me into a zombie.

Little Earthquake
04-16-2008, 06:42 PM
Ditto change of scenery. Also, it occurs to me that maybe you're dreading the work of refining, which makes editing seem almost counter-creative. You want to add to the story and make it better, but you don't want to get out the fine-tooth comb. While your muse is throwing a fit about doing "real" work, cater to her whims and get a legal pad or journal and jot down all those ideas swimming in your head. Let them bubble up and out without trying to make them "perfect." In a little while, after you've exhausted the fount of inspiration, you may be ready to get your hands dirty again.

04-16-2008, 06:56 PM
I'm having the same problem. I want to edit, but when I sit down to do it I get distracted and wind up reading something else. It feels like I've done so much work on the first draft that redoing it is counter-productive. I'm leaving it alone for now (of course, I can't seem to do any work on it anyway). I think I'll print out a hard copy later and try editing from that instead of in front of the screen.


04-16-2008, 10:06 PM
The second draft is scary. Okay, you know by now that first drafts are allowed, are even expected, to be crap. You can always fix it up in the second draft, right?

Well, now the second draft is here, and you can't send your Inner Editor away again -- you need him! And he's mean! No matter how many great revision ideas you bring to the table, he's going to sniff (maybe loud, so you notice, maybe soft, so you don't know why you're so uneasy.) Can you do this thing? If the Inner Editor doesn't think you can, well, then you have to convince him he's wrong.

First make sure you're really ready to start the second draft. Have you reread the whole piece? Have you made some kind of outline of what's already there, written down your ideas about what it needs, come up with a revision plan?

If not, it's no wonder the Inner Editor is doubtful. You haven't let him do his job, which is all about analysis and planning. Slow down. Reread the piece, once just to reacquaint yourself with it, again to figure out, in writing, what's right, what's wrong, what's missing.

Then write down your plan. Start by free-writing if you have to. Keep writing, sense or nonsense, until the Inner Editor, impressed by your effort, stops being your antagonist and becomes your ally.

Never look at a blank screen or page for more than five minutes. Free-write all over it, and eventually you'll start making sense. ;)

04-16-2008, 10:53 PM
Thank you Phaeal. That is a good way to approach the task. It's methodical and precise. I'm going to try it after letting the wip sit for a while.