Books Magazine

Be Like Stella, Writers, and Get Your Groove Back

By Steph's Scribe @stephverni

465761d4f734b76822f9e21b1619e2c3I’ve taken a lot of time off from creative writing. Oh, I don’t mean the blog. I keep on doing this because, of course, I love it. And I do post an occasional Friday Fiction piece. But it’s not the same as tackling the writing of a novel.

After completing the event planning textbook in January, I needed some time away to clear my mind, teach my classes, focus on my family, and maybe even go for a therapeutic walk now and then.

But now, I’m ready to get my groove back. Like Stella from the novel by Terry McMillan, sometimes we need to get back in the swing of things.

Yesterday, my brain became unfrozen. I had become stuck within the pages of my third novel, and it was bothering me. I wasn’t liking it. I’d stopped writing because I didn’t know where the story was going to go, what it was going to do, or what it would become. But then, in a moment of utter relaxation and pure clarity, I had a vision, and I wrote the prologue. It came to me from—honestly, I don’t know from what source it came. It was as if someone held up a bright light and said, “And the story is going to start here.” It was crazy, and then Boom!, just like that, I was back in the groove.

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However, the truth of the matter is this: you shouldn’t really have to get your groove back. You should stay in your zone and feel the groove all along, even if it gets a little slow and murky at times. You should fight through the writer’s block, read good stuff to inspire you, talk over the proposed plot with friends and family, and generally, just sit down and write each day. Sure, some days you will write more brilliantly than others, but who cares? You are writing. It’s what you are meant to do. I give this advice to students all the time, and yet I wasn’t taking any of it myself.

Don’t loose your groove, writers. Push through it. Keep stuff that you think is crap. Delete sentences, edit and rework paragraphs, and delete some more. Get rid of characters and ideas that aren’t working. But more than anything, stay in the groove.

You got this.

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