The marathon is over but the writing isn’t. This was one of my favorite tips because it’s hard but it’s true. You should follow the writing rather than force the writing to follow you. What this basically means is you have to let go and discover the direction of your piece as you go. If you try to hold onto it too tight, you’ll strangle it.
Are you ever surprised by your manuscript? Surprised by what your characters want? Do you follow them? Do you let them become real? Or do you always tell them what to do, what to say, where to go?
“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” Ray Bradbury
Sometimes you have to release control. You have to forget your outline, forget your expectations, forget yourself and let the writing come. Let it breathe.
“E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.” Anne Lamott
So that’s the tip for the day. As I sit here writing this I’m thinking about my novel I just finished and I wonder if I held it too tight. I wonder if allowed it to breathe. I can even imagine the places in the novel where maybe it wanted to be free but I grabbed it and said, sit. Stay. Behave. I want to go back and apologize. Tell it to take me where it wants to go.