The few of you who actually follow this blog may have noticed that I’ve been MIA lately.
The reason for this is that I’ve been really stuck. I am like someone trying to lose weight who waxes and wanes, and gains and loses that same twenty pounds, knowing that they really want to lose thirty-five, but they’re stuck on a plateau. I’ve heard many people in the past say “I just can’t get into the one-hundreds.” (Particularly because I watch a lot of Biggest Loser.)
I have the exact same problem, but in application to my writing. I can’t get into the one-hundreds.
This is at least the third project I’ve started where I’ve written at least 100 pages, only to then get stuck, dry up and walk away for a little while. Then I’ll think of a new project, and, with fresh energy and enthusiasm, attack it, building that page count until… it reaches… yes, you guessed it… 100.
So far, this book has followed this perfectly predictable route. However, I am writing to let you know that I am not giving up on this project – or on this blog for that matter. Yes, I have been stuck, not knowing what to write. But my energy is now being refocused.
I’m very good at the beginning. Setting the scene, character development, introducing conflict, all that flows very well for me. And although it may seem somewhat contradictory, I know where I want to go with this story. No spoilers (because sometimes the characters have minds of their own, and they decide to go a different direction than what I had planned).
What I can’t figure out is how to get there from here. I suppose the aspect of writing that I’m really having trouble with is character growth – how to take someone’s mindset and change it so that a new outcome becomes possible for them. After all, if they did nothing new in the story, it would be a very boring book.
And I realized the thing that will really get me past this, this time. Maybe the thing I’ve been missing all along.
Right now it doesn’t need to be good. Right now it just needs to be on paper.
That’s right: I have given myself permission to write whatever comes out, even if it’s total crap. After all, crap can always be fixed. That’s what fourteen rounds of editing are for, right? But no one looks at it later on (not even you) if it’s not actually written down.
Words on paper – that’s all that matters right now. And I’m going to do it.
Have you ever felt stuck and unable to break past some sort of barrier? How did you deal with it?
And, darling CP, if you’re wondering why you haven’t gotten any pages lately, this is pretty much why. Look forward to reading some questionable material.