I've been spending some time (through books) with author Nathalie Goldberg. She wrote something that seemed so counter-intuitive and so true about writing that I just had to share it.
She wrote, "when you see something you want, back up three steps and wait."
Goldberg's statement flies against everything we learn in the American "can-do" culture which tends to be about action and volume.
But sometimes you really just do need to walk away. I have been spinning around about this article. I closed my article and then worked on something else. When I came back to it, I saw it with new eyes.
It's not always about plowing through. Sometimes things move along more easily when we just recognize and acknowledge the pain points and then gently come back to them.
If you have ever given or received a massage you may know this. You cannot just dive in and grind out the knots. (If you have tried rolfing you know how painful that approach can be). The knots will release, however, if you sneak up on them...come at them sideways and work them out slowly and over time.
Writing can be the same way. If you're feeling stuck don't just put grease on your elbow and try to grind it out. Step back, do something else, and then come back to it.
FYI- this also tends to work for conflicts in your life...but for now, let's just stay focused on the writing.
Sarah Federman, PhD