Today was a gorgeous day in my neck of the woods – 75 degrees and sunny. This is perfect weather for me. So much so that I sat on the side porch of my parents’ house and worked on my new story this afternoon. There is something so wonderful about being outside after such a cold, never-ending (did I mention cold?) winter. My parents used to tell my brother and I to go outside and ‘blow the stink off of you’. So what the heck does that mean? When we were kids I think it was my parent’s way of saving their sanity after being cooped up with us all winter. But as adults, it is allowing yourself to breath the air (since you spent the last 6-8 months breathing dry non-circlulated air inside) and renew yourself.
As writers we also have to mentally ‘blow the stink off’ when we find ourselves stuck on a concept or idea. One of the hardest things to do is let go on something that we have worked on. After all, each word involves time, effort, and creativity and that is painful to give up on. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you scrap an entire project, but you may need to revise parts of a story so that the plot flows, or the characters develop and don’t read as one-sided selfish, idiots.
But as writers, sometimes we don’t see the forest from the trees. So step back from your work and blow the stink off. Then come back to it with an open mind and a willingness to make it better. And it will happen. So take a breather and try again.