After months of not playing, I recently sat down at the piano. But when I tried to play, my fingers were rusty and they stumbled over the notes. Determined to get it right, I concentrated on each finger. I focused on where it should be, its every movement---but my playing only seemed to get worse. It was not fun.
Finally, I let go.
I stopped trying to over-think each movement and let my well-practiced fingers take over. And there it was. The music I remembered. The flow of notes, the tricky rhythms, the octave jumps. It all came back.
And it felt good.
Perhaps with writing it's the same. When we get stuck and don't know where to go next, sometimes we try to force the issue. Perhaps we're still in editing mode from revising the last piece. Perhaps we're simply determined to get it right the first time. Perhaps we're worried that we'll never write something as good as Jane Doe who just won a boatload of awards. Whatever it is, it is NOT fun.
That is when it is time to let go. Let your practiced hand and heart take over. Remember why you ever started writing in the first place. Forget about the rules you're supposed to be following. That can be worked out later. Forget about everyone else who would tell you you're doing it wrong. Just let go, and that is when the magic happens. The story unfolds. The characters come alive. And writing becomes fun again.
And man does it feel good.