Three weeks ago, I made a call that changed my life.
I'm not exaggerating or being metaphorical here. That call was what got me the apartment I'm now sitting in. That call led me to driving over 1400 miles across six states, a three-day journey that took a lot out of me. I forcibly pulled myself out of my old life and into something that I hope will be better.
Granted, I'm writing this while sitting on a chair made out of a pillow, two lamp boxes, and the boxed-up keyboard that stopped functioning the morning before I moved, but nothing's perfect.
The point of this is that sometimes it's necessary to make massive changes. As I said last entry, I wasn't happy in Albuquerque, and it was time to move on. I've been here for a few hours' short of three days, which is too little time for me to say whether or not this was a good idea, as things have been crazy and I'm still getting used to everything. (The way they name and number streets here is weird as hell, for one thing.) And my stuff hasn't arrived yet, hence the improvised chair.
But I hope, once the dust settles, this will turn out to be one of the best things I could have done for myself.
I think it's clear how this relates to writing. I know I've gotten stuck on the same ideas over and over again; I've blogged about it before. Sometimes those ideas are really hard to shake, especially when you still like them despite how many times you've tried to make them work and seen it all come crashing down. There's a reason I wrote three different versions of a story, all with the same title, and plotted at least three or four other versions of that same story.
I would really like to think that, somehow, there's a way to make everything work, that there's no such thing as a story that can't be told. But when you hit that wall, the only thing to do is figure out why the wall's there. And most of the time, if not always, that means something has to change.
No, I'm not saying you should move across the country just because a story's not working out. :P And I don't yet know if moving will help make me a better writer. But I know that doing the same thing over and over isn't going to make anything better.
So, are you stuck on something? Figure out what needs to change. Is the main character too old, too young, the wrong gender? Does the antagonist need a larger role, a better motivation, a morality pet? Is the setting keeping you from getting to the heart of the story? Have you spent upwards of seventeen thousand words describing food?
It's all words. Finding the right words isn't always easy, but there are always other words. And that means we, as writers, can always find new words if the old ones don't work. Even if that means changing every single one.