Nothing is working! I want to scream it from the roof tops. My WIP with the working title of Anywhere But Here appeared to be progressing well.  There were some scenes that needed strengthening but I always knew where the story was going and how it would end. So, I did not expect to hit the wall when it came time to write the ending. Which is now.

Union Square Park San Francisco, mixed-media


There were some flags, to be sure. For example, as I approached the ending I would suddenly realize that I had left out something really important in an earlier chapter. And then it dawned on me that perhaps I should check out my Character Arcs book by K.M. Weiland to see if all was proceeding as it should. (It wasn’t, so there were more revisions to attend to.) Eventually, I realized that even though I knew where the story was going and knew how it was going to end, that perhaps I should still, well, actually write the ending.

That’s when it happened. I began writing the scenes that lead up to the climax, but they didn’t. Lead anywhere, I mean. They crawled. Limped. Stuttered. I was at the part where the pace picks up and the stakes are raised and…Nothing! Conversations with various characters about the various issues at various times. NOTHING!

A wall of gum?

So, in lieu of a stellar ending, or stellar writing, or anything approaching brilliance, I decided to write about hitting the wall. I began to search my photo collection for pictures of walls. I looked around my home for some good walls to photograph. I would blog about the wall and I would illustrate my point with pictures of walls. SO. MANY. WALLS.

A Chihuly wall

But when I went looking for actual physical walls in my life, what I found surprised me. Or at the very least, gave me pause for thought. The walls I had “collected”, and the walls in my home were sources, not of frustration, but of inspiration. Beautiful walls. Inspirational walls. Walls supporting impressive art work, including my mother’s paintings.

 I was also reminded  of the Matisse art work at the MoMA in San Francisco. In paintings of rooms, he often showed a window and the view through the window. The view through the window of these paintings was not background to the story. It was the story. That intrigued me and captivated my interest.

Grace Cathedral walls that tell of a historic fire.
Willow Park School of Arts Centred Learning Calgary

Artists see each wall, not as a giant problem to overcome, but as a blank canvas, ripe for their rich imagination. As a literary artist, maybe I should view “the wall” not as a huge problem, but a huge opportunity. Next time I feel like screaming from the roof tops that I have hit the wall, I’m going to picture my  favourite walls. They will remind me that while some people see walls and stop in their tracks, other people see opportunity and put their imagination to work!

This wall reminds me that all of the hard work IS worthwhile!
St. Bede School Calgary

Now, go and create a wall. A beautiful, inspirational wall!




Published by Lois Donovan

Author of historical time travels, THE JOURNAL and WINDS OF L'ACADIE, Lois is in demand as a speaker/presenter at literary conferences and young writers' conferences and teachers conventions. Lois grew up primarily in Riverview, New Brunswick, but has called Calgary home for many years. Currently, Lois enjoys life in Calgary with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law.

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