6 In Thoughts & Observations

Step Away From the Crowbar

Most people have heard the old analogy of a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other when it comes to conscience.  If you’ve read my blogs for any length of time, you know my conscience is more of a drill sergeant / flower child mix.  The two of them are constantly poking and prodding each other.  FC (flower child) gets me into all kinds of trouble and DS (drill sergeant) gets me out.  DS keeps me from over-indulgence and FC makes sure I actually leave the house to interact with the human race.  While the two constantly battle for supremacy, overall, the arrangement works.

Sometimes though, one of them goes too far…

DS was the culprit last week.  He’d established a goal for completing the first draft of my current manuscript based on a pretty firm plot outline and was, by God, going to make it happen!

Let me give you a visual here:  Picture my big, burly (and smokin’ hot) drill sergeant with my delicate muse in his arms.  Now add him ramming her head up against a twelve-inch thick concrete wall.

Yeah, it was ugly. I slugged through way too many chapters that rubbed me like a #50 sandpaper massage.  (That’s the kind of sandpaper capable of peeling paint from wood for those of you who don’t stroll the isles of Home Depot.)

After three days of written torture, my flower child managed to hogtie and gag my well-intentioned drill sergeant long enough to get a word in edgewise.  “Um, maybe you need to storm the castle from a different angle?” she said, batting her eyes and flitting about in her tie-dyed bell bottoms.

My muse, bloodied and dazed in the corner of my mind, whimpered an agreement.

DS grunted as he’s wont to do and pouted for awhile, but he finally caved and took a good hard look at other options.

Then, voila!  Overnight, my muse, DS and FC had scaled the magical wall of creativity and were kicking ass and taking names.

The whole thing made me think about “Some Assembly Required” projects.  You lay all the pieces out first.  You follow the instructions.  And, when the pieces won’t fit together as the directions indicate they should, YOU STOP.  You absolutely DO NOT force them to fit.  You go back and figure out where you went wrong, because if you force it, you are sure to screw the whole thing up.  (And, yes, I speak from experience—I have a long abandoned high chair and more than one particle board cubby set to prove it.)

The moral of the story—should I choose to learn it:  Step away from the crowbar and reassess.  If it ain’t fittin’, it ain’t fittin’, and you’d be wise to figure out why.

And while the lesson came about (again) in the form of my writing, I don’t think it’s restricted to do-it-yourself projects or writers.  I think it’s probably something we all experience in any given number of situations.

What about you?  Have any, “Oh….So, that little square peg won’t fit in that round hole?” moments?


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  • Reply
    August 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    So . . . what’s the rest of the story? How did you change your approach? Tell . . . tell!

    • Reply
      August 26, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      Oh, God. Such a long story. In a nutshell I streamlined my second plot point so my heroine gets thrown for a loop but comes back kickin’ ass. 🙂

  • Reply
    CJ Burright
    August 27, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Oh yeah, been there done that! Killed lots of little darlings along the way, those lovely square pegs I hated to say goodbye to. Such an awesome feeling when everything clicks together after a bloody battle, huh?

  • Reply
    Jackie King
    August 27, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Loved this post! Related to the mental struggle between two opposing forces…both inside my own head. Well done.

  • Reply
    Gretchen Wing
    September 3, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I probably do have a similar experience to share, but right now I’m too busy enjoying your metaphorical narrative. Good stuff!

    • Reply
      September 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks, Gretchen!

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