You are writing a story. Things are coming together. You can see the ending. Not only that, you can feel the ending. And it’s going to be great.
But. There’s that one section that just is not working out. It feels awkward. Forced. Fake. You start to worry the whole endeavor is doomed.
Not so fast, writes George Saunders in LitHub:
A rough patch in a story is not an error or a defect or evidence of our lack of talent or proof that we are imposters, missing some essential frequency being broadcast from Story Central. It’s an indicator that our heroic, brilliant subconscious is working out a problem as it stumbles towards beauty, and is asking for our help, and what it needs for us to do, just now, is have faith. And wait. And, while we’re waiting (as an active form of waiting), keep revising (revising that bit and everything around it). Be O.K., for now, with its apparent imperfection (which is actually just a momentary lagging behind). Keep coming back to that place, with affection and hope, until it relents and pops into clarity…
A bad stretch of writing is not necessarily bad, just unformed.
One thought on “Writer’s Desk: Don’t Give Up”
I like this quote, and how it sees the process of editing. I myself feel this way about my entire novel, sometimes, and that can get a tad overwhelming. But like Saunders—and you—said, I just need to chisel away. Anyway, thanks for this post!