Obstacle #16: Missing Bridges

Let’s jump right into today’s topic: missing bridges; or having points A, E and K but not knowing how to get there. I’m still not sure that’s appropriately titled, so if you have a better word or description, let me know. I’d say this topic is closely related to Writer’s Block, so much so I do believe they’re siblings!

This happens to me all the time, mostly because whenever I have a new idea for a story, it’s usually E or K, and when I finally manage to get an A, well– I can’t get to B, or I do get B but I’m stuck at A.5. Yikes.

Sometimes I unblock myself before I’m sitting down and staring at the blinking bar on my screen. Sometimes I decide to screw the A.5 and go straight to B, I’ll figure it out later. Sometimes I just start writing crap and lo and behold, something magical happens… I get a better idea, or I’m more awake when editing.

There’s no time limit in which the bridges build themselves (because, well, they never do), although it might be related with stress levels in your life, I don’t know. Maybe it’s an inverse correlation? Or maybe, and I think this every time I try to write, it’s not related to anything. I mean, it’s the same as forgetting a word (which happens a lot, especially when you’re abroad and losing your Engrish) and then being reminded by someone else talking about a pineapple. The brain works in strange ways… Or our minds just love the random jumps?

Perhaps that’s just how we function. Besides, I don’t think missing bridges is a bad thing though, I mean if you had everything planned out I’d probably be supremely impressed, and probably a little put off and cough something sounding like  “control freak,” but at the same time I know just how painful and annoying these gaps in the road feel.

But maybe we’re thinking about it all wrong, and the missing bridges aren’t actually missing – in fact they’re not bridges at all. We’ve just been paving our road through any land and ended up destroying forests, mountains, deserts or marshes perhaps without looking. But these gaps aren’t gaps; they’re us running out of cement, pausing and actually looking around and figure out where we are. That’s when new ideas happen, and the road you were building suddenly turns to dirt but U-turns and then zigzags off into the horizon. Follow that road, and there’s your story.

Suddenly, Missing Bridges and its evil twin, Writer’s Block,  erupt in maniacal laughter in your face and skip away together into the eternal sunset. The end.

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