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Me After a Writing Binge

You, After a Writing Binge

What makes you stop writing?

Once in a while, I end a writing session because I reach the end, but most often I run out of time. Sometimes that’s a disappointment. Other times, it’s a relief. When I lose myself in the story, I take it as a good sign.

Shutting down my computer and walking away from my desk brings on a disoriented feeling. I have lived too long in my story and can’t seem to find my way out again. It’s as if I pass through a shadow land halfway between my story world and reality.

The emotions of the last scene tug at me.  I chuckle in glee at a villain’s comeuppance or brush away a tear over a tragic death. If my heroine has been mischievous, I  watch my sense of humor to avoid accidentally offending someone. If I’ve written a fight scene, I isolate myself for a while. Having forgotten my break to stretch my legs usually means I’m too stiff to pick a fight, anyway. I toddle off to fill the tub with hot water, the quickest way I know to ease cramped muscles.

Walking away from my story, even for a brief time, is an act of faith. I have no guarantee that the words will flow again or that I’ll be pulled to the story’s heart the next time I write. If you’ve ever been intimidated by your own writing, you know what I mean.

How can I ever do it again?

There are those, I have heard, who possess the self-discipline to stop in the middle of a sentence so they will know exactly what to write when they return. I admire them.

I am not among their number.

I rarely know what I’ll write next time, although I plot by the numbers and use a three-act plotting system. When I outline a scene, I only give myself a couple of sentences to go on. Much of the story lives in my head, and I trust it to work itself out. Often it does, but sometimes not.

It takes strength to walk away from a manuscript, considering that courage, faith, and self-discipline are the price of my return.

Tell me you’ve been here, too.

Me After a Writing Binge
Me After a Writing Binge

Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

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