I've been in various stages of the writing process on my eventually-to-be-posted webcomic, Bernadette's Epilogue, for about a year and half. We're talking from inception and ruminating on the idea for months and months to actually writing the script and page thumbnails two or three months ago. I'm struggling with keeping my writing on track with the themes and navigating with purpose toward the predetermined finale of the story.
There is an outline, but filling in the gaps with direction is proving to be the most difficult part of the process for me now. Filling in the gaps without direction? That I can do! But that isn't what I want this story to be. I get stuck thinking, "Is this important to the story?" "Does this further the plot or characters?" and "No, but is it *really* important to the story?" and can't move forward. So here I am, stuck with twelve pages of heavily edited script, needing about a hundred more, only able to stare at those initial twelve and edit them into the ground. And then I throw up my hands in frustration with the all too familiar "This is terrible! Why do I even try!?"
As a teacher, I have one million pep talks and kind words to work through the negativity, but as someone who hasn't had time for art since college, I feel like I've lost my creativity in favor of constructive criticism. I can edit for days. I just can't get the source material out of my head and onto paper.
So, friends, what do you do when you hit a wall in your creative process? Whether it be visual art, writing, or other, what gets you out of that funk and creating again? What do you do when you find yourself wanting to give up on a piece? Do you find that creating without self imposed constraints is helpful, hurtful, or even wasteful?
I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts.