Friday, March 9, 2018

Best-Laid Plans by Jan Scarbrough

With retirement looming, I had plenty of plans. I’d write every day and finish the next book quickly. Every morning, I’d write for four hours. Easy-peasy.

Then life intervened—of course. The husband got the flu. I got a sinus infection. There were appointments and a trip out of town for a wedding.

But the biggest problem with my best-laid plans has been writer’s block. I have my characters and their conflict. I know the happily-ever-after ending. But getting from page one to THE END is the predicament. In fact, writing this blog is a form of writer’s block—putting off what I need to do.

I know what that is. I need to put butt in chair, open the document, and write through the block. I need to write junk, just to get it down. Then I can always go back and polish. My editor will edit the manuscript and suggest changes. It will be okay. But getting those first words down is the big, big problem.

So much for best-laid plans.

From Wikipedia: “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785” is a Scots Language poem written by Robert Burns in 1785 and was included in the Kilmarnock volume. According to legend, Burns was ploughing in the fields and accidentally destroyed a mouse's nest, which it needed to survive the winter. In fact, Burns' brother claimed that the poet composed the poem while still holding his plough.
From the poem:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!


  1. Commiseration from this end! Good luck, Jan.

  2. That sounds very, very familiar, Jan! And now I[m feeling bad for that poor mouse who lost her nest.)

  3. It sounds to me as if you're still in transition. Relax and give it time. Just write and the words will begin flowing.

  4. What an inconvenient thing, writer's block. I'm sure you'll find your way. Enjoy writing junk! Or taking a break.


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