Releasing My Angel

The answer to Writer’s block: Releasing my Angel

Writer’s block, at least in my case, is related to a temporary insecurity or creative overload!

It just happened to me recently when I finished my novel, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall, and my five beta readers, who did not know each other, decided that my ending was not quite right.

I was distraught and totally drained. I was sure I could not add another word to my story. Of course, I was wrong. It did indeed need just a tiny tweak to make it perfect, but where was I to find the energy or creativity to tweak if I was exhausted and completely sapped?

First, I tried to calm down! I took a short break. One day with no talk of the novel. Instead, I immersed myself in the mind numbing tasks of painting, singing, and playing with my grandchildren.

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Then I went back to my ending. I still could not see beyond my last line. I went for a walk and imagined a dialogue between the characters. I even ‘spoke’ to them myself about what could happen, as I often do. It helped me get back into the novel, but still I could not envisage another ending.

Surprisingly, I often dream with the characters and events, and I write it all down when I wake up, before I forget! There is a strong subconscious component in writing which helps me move my stories on. Alas, this time, it did not happen in a dream.

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I love Michelangelo’s quote, ‘I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free’. I often feel that is just what I am doing. Words are an author’s marble, and I have to combine them in the perfect way to disclose, or set free, my angel, or story. The story is there already. My role is to write until I release it. Why couldn’t I release my angel?

Finally, when I am in such a rut, it also helps me to talk to someone about how I feel and try to work it out. In my case, it has to be someone who knows me well and understands my characters and story. It is usually my daughter, who is a great reader and plotter! So, we talked it through, and moved the story on beyond ‘the end’ and way into the future. Pushing the story forward gave me the perspective I needed to look back at my ending.

I sat down and wrote the few more pages that made the end perfect in just a few hours. I had found my angel, at last.

Of course, my real angel is my daughter.

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Do you need an angel to overcome your writer’s block? Who is your angel?

About LucciaGray

Writer, blogger, teacher, reader and lover of words wherever they are. Author of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, the breathtaking sequel to Jane Eyre. Luccia lives in sunny Spain, but her heart's in Victorian London.

Posted on July 27, 2015, in Blog, My Writing Process and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Ah, our angels are always our daughters Luccia 🙂 I’m delighted you eventually found the answer to finishing it off in a way that you are happy with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mary. It was tough! As you know, better than I do, it’s not easy to strike the right balance at the end of book 2 in a trilogy. I feel relieved, at last. I’m glad you also have angels in your life!

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  2. Glad you found your elusive ending! And my daughter is a princess. Possibly when she’s left Uni and supports herself she will metamorphosis into an angel!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michelangelo’s quote, and your take on it, remind me of something from Stephen King’s book “On Writing”. It’s a great perspective.
    I can’t believe spending time with your gorgeous grandchildren would be mind numbing!!!
    I love that your daughter is your angel. My daughter is an angel too.
    So pleased you found the perfect ending in consideration of how the story would continue. That’s insightful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I meant it in a good sense:) By numbing I mean all absorbing. So when you’re up to your eyes in paint and crawling around the floor, or sibging your heart our to Mary had a little lamb, the rest of life and its problems disappear! What would we do without our wonderful daughters?💖💗😍

      Liked by 1 person

      • I knew what you meant! They are absorbing. There is no time to fret over anything, let alone a manuscript! 🙂
        I don’t know where I’d be without my daughter. They are a joy!

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  4. Love to meet your personal angel. In my case it can be very random… Talking to somebody, going for a walk, and definitely taking a break helps. Looking forward to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Olga💖🌹💗 Talking helps a lot, the trouble is finding someone who listens actively to my ramblings! I wish I lived nearer English speaking people, so I could speak to other writers regularly.

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  5. Hi – Glad you got it all worked out. The break you took probably helped too. 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, a break helps 🙂 I think we need to get some between the author and the manuscript to get perspective towards the end of the process! Thank you for dropping by and commenting 🙂

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  6. Sadly, only having sons, I don’t have an angle like yours (though my daughter in law is lovely).
    Writers block is dreadful and I am pleased you managed to find the ending you needed. I am reminded of the occasion when I was co-authoring a book with a friend at work. We had each written chapters and happily accepted the comments of the other on our work, even if it had led to virtually rewriting half a chapter. Then, as we came to the end we had to write the introduction, and could not agree on the second sentence. Everything else was fine, just the one sentence. I hated his suggestion, he loathed my idea. Our office became incredibly frosty, for nearly a week we wouldn’t speak to one another, just writing our suggestions on a white board, only to see the other put a red line through it.
    Finally one of us, I cannot remember who, came up with an idea and the other said,
    “Might do, I suppose.”
    And harmony was restored.
    From this draw comfort, writers block is bad for one, it is an even worse nightmare for two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have also written a book with a colleague, on Chaucer and Shakespeare, but we had two distinct parts and didn’t have any big disagreements on the introduction or conclusion. The truth is we get on very well and we’re both very laid back about it 🙂 I can imagine you had a frosty week at work! Thank you for dropping by and commenting. I forgot to say that my son-in-law and my husband are also supportive ‘mini-angels’ 🙂

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