Lessons From a Cracked Rear View Mirror
By: Michala T.
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
It’s a big job, trying to change things. Especially your attitude. I have been working with my oldest daughter; trying to teach her that her Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions pave the road for her attitude towards life. If she is having a sucky day due to hormonal issues playing havoc with her feelings then she is going to be a bit more irritable with people around her. Sometimes, and I’m really proud of her for this, she is able to remember that her attitude is based on her thoughts and emotions at that particular moment.
As a writer, if you don’t like something, it’s not hard to tear the page out, wad it up, and toss it (or even easier…hitting the delete button.) But what about those moments where the stuff we have that we don’t like isn’t what doesn’t work? What if it’s our current inability to change our attitude? I mean when you are experiencing that moment of ‘writer’s block’ it clearly affects your attitude and that affects your emotions/feelings…which leads us to even longer moments of no writing.
So whereas in life the emotions and feelings affect one’s attitude, with writers it is kind of backwards. Like Maya Angelou says, if you can’t change it, change your attitude. Sometimes we can’t change the writing because the writing is headed in the right direction. It’s the attitude that we need to change. It’s not so easy is it?
In moments such as this…my suggestion is to throw a wrench into your story. Just pick something…anything. Maybe your character witnesses a crime. Maybe they break a bone or something as simple as stub their toe which forces them to lean down in pain only to find something….These wrenches can create an escape for your attitude, if only temporarily. You don’t have to keep what you have written. You can, in fact, toss it. BUT FIRST…read over it a few times. I bet you will find one or two things that you can use in the real writing. An emotion, an attitude, a feeling, even an object. Whatever it is…it will help you get through whatever trouble you are in. Good Luck!