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March 27, 2014 / Angela Sylvia

Writing Problems: Beyond the Limit

Thanks to some encouraging news, I’ve been pushing myself over the last few days with some of my writing projects. I’ve reread, edited, and plotted for more hours than I usually dedicate to projects in one day, and now I’ve gotten into rewriting. Generally, a decent day of writing a story for me involves 3 or 4 handwritten pages. Rather than a stopping point, though, I’m trying to make that number a minimum, something I only finish the day at because there’s too much other life happening that there’s no real time to generate more than that. Hoo boy, is that hard.

The reason 3 or 4 pages is usually the limit is that by that point, my brain feels stretched, an elastic I’ve pulled and pulled and I can’t tug on anymore because then it will just snap. This is the point where I actually jump on the chance to do chores around the house, or leave for my job, because my brain doesn’t have the capacity to write any more.

But I can’t think of my brain as something that I’ll just break apart if I push it too far. It’s a muscle, and just like how every yoga class I’m a little bit closer to touching my forehead on my toes, if I keep pushing myself to my limit — and then a little bit beyond — I’ll be able to write more, and more, and maybe one day even pump out a dozen pages over the course of the day without feeling as if I’m about to collapse.

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