What kind of walls have you encountered in your life?
Walls come in all shapes and sizes, really. Some are so big we can't see over top of them. Others allow us a peek at where we could be if the wall wasn't in our way. Either way ... walls are frustrating.
I'd reached a wall in writing my latest story. Now, that was nothing new. In fact, it was becoming the norm. Somewhere around 2/3 of the novel I'd hit a wall and - until this time - I'd give up. (Sound familiar? Check out this blog post from Write to Done.)
I remember my first wall. I had written five complete stories. Not that it had been easy but it had definitely been a consistent flow for those early novels. I'd get the story idea. I'd write for two months. Then I was done.
Then my sixth story was a little different for me. It had come from an idea I'd had in a dream. (Which meant it was a little hazy at times.) I started out good. I wrote steady for a long time until I came to a wall.
An invisible wall.
Do you know what kind of wall that is?
You can't tell from the photo exactly but my kids are standing flush against a painted wall.
An invisible wall.
A wall where you think you know where you are going but for some (concrete) reason you can't get there. An optical illusion.
Many times my stories have become optical illusions. I know where they are going but I can't seem to get there. I have written more than eleven stories now, but several sit incomplete at that same marker of 2/3 finished. It seems like I hit an invisible wall, change directions and then get way off track.
I need to learn how to move a wall - to push past that place and get back to the good ol' days of finished manuscripts.
I think I may have done it. (I really hope I don't jinx it by celebrating too soon.) For the last two weeks I have been stuck at the place at the wall. I had written up to a point but then felt a hard surface behind the next words. Instead of tossing the story aside and working on another one I decided to sit at the wall for a while. I pushed. But to no avail. It was immovable.
And then I pushed some more. This went on for quite awhile, but this time I was determined not to change course. I know writing is hard. I know in my heart those early manuscripts aren't realistic and practical of the the life of a writer. So if I'm serious about this I needed to learn how to move walls.
So I pushed some more.
Last night, when I desperately needed to be sleeping because of my early morning today, I found myself shifting cement.
Just a little. But I promise you it moved.
I still have a long way to go to get this story finished all the way to THE END. Yet, I can't help celebrate a little today.
Have you ever moved a wall? Tell me about it and be my inspiration.