Some of you know that I’ve been using Scrivener software to write my current work-in-progress novel and it’s been great. I love how I can jump around, writing the scenes that most appeal to me on a particular day, move things here and there, leave notes, etc.

But I’ve been focused on picture book manuscripts with my agent recently so I’ve found it more challenging to jump into the novel.  kept having an urge to print out what I have and read through it.

Listening to Yourself

So I asked myself: “Should I print it out?”

“No!” one voice said. “You always do this. You have to get through to the end before you go back to the beginning.”

“Yes!” a second voice said. “You need to get a sense of the flow to get back in your writing groove.”

Conflicting voices, conflicting advice. What’s a writer to do?

Making a Choice That Honors You as a Writer

I asked myself the big question: Did I want to print it out because I wasn’t sure what to write next? Was it a form of procrastination?

After doing some serious soul searching, I knew the answer was no. I had reached a place where I needed to see the bigger picture again, to move away from the pieces to see the whole.

So the “yes” won out and I’m going through it now. I’ve made some notations, but I’m basically reading it through in a few sittings to see where the holes are. I was pleasantly surprised to see I had over 300 pages, plus at least 40-50 more that were sitting in the “extra scenes” folder. I know there will be some cutting and adding because there always is, but I was glad to see all my work had actually produced something!

I’m already getting jazzed up about several scenes I’ve yet to write and I know that will continue, especially when I get into the final third which is very sparse.

Moral?

Trust your instinct. If you’re really feeling that you need to write a scene out of order, print out pages, write the ending…do it!

I’m amazed at how many self-imposed rules I have and how often I hold myself back from following my instincts, from trusting that what I want to do is actually what I should do.

Do you have any self-imposed rules you find hard to break? Have you? What happened if you did?

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