Wednesday, May 26, 2010

An aqueduct dam: a dam built by ducks instead of beavers?

Well, it couldn't last forever - those pouring of words that piled up day after day, making the end of the book look inevitable. They gushed onto the page with such force and power I thought I'd surely have enough momentum to see me through that final page with relative painlessness.

Ah....silly me.

Wherever there is a flood, drought is soon to follow.

Today was that drought. Or maybe more aptly a dam, because the story is there. Beautifully crafted scenes and characters with hope and challenges and relationship all right there, so close I can see them dance through my head.

And yet... and yet...

I spent hours today staring at the computer screen getting nothing. I wrote, I deleted, I wrote a few more words, I deleted those as well. I think, in the end, I might possibly have come out with a negative word count today, and I wasn't even revising!

I have no idea how much I wrote because I had three documents open, working on four different scenes. I could see each one so clearly. I knew what I wanted to happen. And yet I couldn't get the words down. It was as if I'd had a writer's stroke. From my head to my fingers, the book would not come out.

I cannot even begin to explain how frustrating that was.

So I'm shutting the computer down and hoping tomorrow is better. Tomorrow there will be a crack in the dam and the words, like all that water in the photo above, will come crashing through. Fingers crossed, anyway.

(And the title of this post? When I came back from Great Falls where I took the above photo, I told my son, "You can hike trails all the way up the river to the aqueduct dam!" To which he replied: "Is that a dam made by ducks instead of beavers?"  I laughed my head off!)


  1. Writing does come in waves for me as well, and when it dries up, each word is a pain. Hope tomorrow will go better for you!

  2. I think, sometimes we need a drought. No one like a drought of any kind, but when that time passes we are amazed and grateful for the rain, words, love, laughter, what ever you are missing, that pours in & over us. A drought is not necessarily the end of something - but instead the pause before something amazing. Hold on tight sister - you are about to be even more amazing!! Can you imagine that??

  3. I can relate to your post. I believe in you and you'll finish the book and it'll be amazing.

  4. Sometimes taking a break is the best thing we can do to clear. I find that doiong something completely different like gardening or puttering around the house, as long as I'm moving, gets the creativity flowing again. Best of luck for a new day.

  5. I have lost thousands of words when I sat down to write. Necessary, but I still hate to see that number drop!

  6. Those days when words just don't come are horrible. You deserve big kuddos for keeping the words coming! I usually fold.

    Have you tried just writing and not crossing out or erasing? Supposed to work!


  7. When the words stop it means you need a break...I hope you have a nice evening. :)

    Ducks that do construction work...It sounds like a picture book to me. :)

  8. Go read a good book and watch some trashy TV. You'll be back at it in no time! Or maybe you're already cured? Either way, happy writing Heidi!

  9. Thank your son for me. His words made me laugh deep. As for your drought -- take down a favorite book of poetry or a favorite volume from one of the authors who set the fire to write in your blood. Read a few pages and just reflect for a moment on what you just read -- and how it was written -- and how it moved you.

    Your muse will have returned, Roland