Ever have your brain go 200 km/h in the wrong lane?*
I have a friend. I’m not going to name them so they can choose to out who they are or not, but they have noted before that the only way work on The Interminable WIP progresses is often if they either A.) swear at the WIP, or B.) threaten to abandon it and start writing on a different story.
No, it’s not that MGC member. That one texted me Saturday night noting that there she was, Standing On Corner Minding Own Business, when Sumdood… Wait, no, she was writing away, putting in foreshadowing for the next in series, when her muse ambushed her with a completely different story.
Both of them I have commiserated with, as this week has been 1.) recovering from Con Crud, and 2.) 3000 words on the wrong story.
(As an aside, I am so glad we’re back to this society being mentally healthy enough that I can say to my boss “I caught a sinus crud. Staying out until I’m healthy”, and the only response is “Get well soon!” not freaking out about Lung Pao Sicken.)
Of course, it’s my fault. I was thumping my brains fruitlessly against the fight scene, and the cold meds, so I decided to take a break. I didn’t feel up to reading anything new, so I started looking through old work. I think I started by wanting to find something specific, but then I got sidetracked. Ended up in something I’ve written a bit on, blocked on, set aside, and then come back to months later only to rewrite, then repeat the cycle… for 6 years now.
And then I woke up from a theraflu-sinus-addled nap and went “Oh! EMP from the shuttle getting blown up! That’ll fix it!” And that solved where I’d been stuck. The good news: this time I’m not rewriting from the start, just picking up from 6 months ago. The bad news: This is not the right story!
I’d call it bouncing between projects if I’d done this intentionally. What do you call it? What do you do when it happens to you?
*This line is blamed on the music playing in the restaurant when I was feeling better, but wasn’t up to cooking. My darling is deaf enough that he probably couldn’t hear the high-pitched female voices singing faintly in the background, but I was going “T.a.T.u.? Man, I haven’t heard that in years. Why is a Japanese restaurant playing a Russian girl group… and that’s not just one song, it sounds like they’re doing the whole 200 km/h in the wrong lane album… yep, including the non-English songs. Trippy!” I’m just happy it showed up here instead of in the WIP… so far.