Be Still, and Listen

I sat at my desk today running my fingers through my hair with frustration. “Ack! Why isn’t this working?”

I was telling myself there was this scene I had to write. A middle-aged deputy returns to an isolated farming community where he was unable to close a case twenty years ago. Stumbling upon a chance discovery, he realizes he has to go back and speak with a woman there he once was married to. And I had to write it. So write it already.

The house special for this evening, ladies and gentlemen: Circular Reasoning! 

And then I stopped doing battle with myself and just listened for a minute.

I couldn’t write that scene today because I didn’t give a hoot about it. Some days, I feel very close to that deputy, and I want to be involved in his story. Other days, my heart just isn’t in it.

Today was one of those days.

So I picked up a short story I’d been stuck on for a couple months–and guess what? Not so magically, it all worked out. The short story became unstuck. I got my writing done. And now the scene gets to cook a little longer, on the back burner.

It was a good lesson for me: Try a little less, and maybe it will come easier. How very Zen. 🙂

Published by M.C. Easton

Novelist and teacher.

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