A Writer’s Trap

8 years ago
Eric Vanderburg

Do you want to hear something funny?

I have been writing a lot lately and the words were just flowing out of my mind onto paper. I got to the point where I figured I should finally create an outline so I worked on it over the weekend. I outlined almost an entire book except for a few things at the end. When I started writing again yesterday I thought I would write even faster with a guide in place but I found it more difficult. Today I looked at what I wrote yesterday and it is terrible.

I sat in the hot tub after work and read a bit of “Writing down the bones”, a book Aimee got me for Christmas that I had never gotten around to reading. Anyway, the author talks about writing spontaneously and freely. I realized that the outline I created is a cage rather than a guide. I am no longer free to write what I want. Now I have to follow the outline I created. My thoughts are always changing so what I may have felt when I wrote the outline is not what I feel now. I created a trap for myself.

I am not completely sure of what to do.  I think I will just take my outline, print it, delete it, and then file it away for days when I have writer’s block.