It was taller than the Statue of Liberty. Taller than the Eiffel tower.
We learned this as we stood in line. One of the park tour guides announced it over the intercom. We couldn’t see him – there were too many people standing before us, waiting with us to fall 227 feet at 62 miles an hour.
Sometimes we all need a break. From reality. From our friends. From everything.
I usually never take breaks, but this time I had to. I had reached an impasse in my writing and I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I had done everything. I had started a new project, had abandoned it, had written short stories, had written several posts, had read a few new books on writing, had even taken classes purely for motivation’s sake.
I had done so much that I had exhausted myself. I felt like giving up.
So, I did.
I stopped doing, and I stopped cold turkey. I stopped writing for two weeks, something I had never done before. And something amazing happened!
I sat down to write. Pen in hand, blank paper before me. The idea was clear: girl loves unconscious boy and discovers a way to reach him. I had spent weeks brainstorming, tweaking ideas and dissecting my characters. Before I placed my pen to the paper, I realized something. I had it all wrong. In two seconds, weeks of work stepped aside for an even better idea. The story isn’t about the girl at all. It is about the brother’s pain and eventual repentance from his self-destructive lifestyle. The unconscious boy and the girl are in the background, just a side effect of a common tragic event. But, the brother’s story is the story.
I could not have reached this “aha!” moment without holding my ideas loosely.