Ray Bradbury has a quote I love: “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”
Recently I got stuck in my current WIP. I had the ideas, I had the vision, but failed to follow the vision. I tried to force the story to fit in a different mold, and came up with a tangled mess. instead of everything serving plot or sub-plots, scenes were simply filler or made no sense to the theme.
In other words, I got in my own way. My ego, my personal desires gummed up the inner-voice that connects me to the world, the vision, I dreamed of. I let a …hmmmm… ‘personal issue’ get in the way of the story. Now I have over a dozen pages to re-write to make things flow again. All because I did listen to my intuition. “I” got in the way of the story.
This in no way means our stories cannot or should not be organic. They do, can, and will change as we write them. No matter how well you plot out a story, it WILL change. It is natural for insight into a character or issue in the work to suddenly become clear, thus altering what we thought things were. Such insights may change only three words in the entire work, but those three words will alter the story for the better.
I will save these mistakes for possible use in the future, if only to look at it and ask, “Well stupid, have you learned from this?” I will always hope the answer is “Yes”.
This ‘get out of the way’ can easily be a metaphor for life. When we get in the way of what we are supposed to be doing, life hands us a b***h-slap upside the head, most commonly with a clue-by-four. But it is far easier to correct a written issue when we get in our own way than to do so in the waking world.
Lesson learned. Now to apply to both the waking world, and the world I wish to manifest on the printed/electronic page.
How have you gotten in your own authorial way, and have you learned from it? Now, how do you apply these lessons to life?