Monday, January 19, 2015

slogging through the muck

First there's the book you have pictured in your mind...and then, there's the process of writing it. It can take you from soaring with enthusiasm to slogging through the muck.

I'd say I'm somewhere near the midpoint in that process, now...when inspiration wanes, fatigue sets in, and the story line languishes. When self-doubt creeps in. And, even though the end is in sight, like a desert mirage, it fades away the closer I get to it.

This is a lonely place. My manuscript isn't polished yet so no one else has seen it or commented on it. Therefore, I don't get to enjoy the stimulation that comes with an exchange of ideas, weighing in on suggestions from my writing partners. I need a fresh infusion of incentive, like the energy that emerges when composing a query letter or submitting to an editor or agent. But, I'm not there yet. This is just hard, lonely work, day after day.

How do I cope with it? How do you?

Sometimes I'll take a little time out to run off a piece of flash fiction, a short essay, or, like today, a blog post. It's like indulging in a little snack when you can't wait for supper.

Sometimes I have to tear myself away from the keyboard and polish off a few necessary chores before I can concentrate again. For example, when there's no food in the house or I run out of clean underwear. I mean, priorities do change. Writing sometimes has to wait. This past weekend it involved hosting a DIY baby shower for my daughter. What fun! (She's going to have a boy...)

When I'm stuck for an idea or unsure how to put one into words, I'll pick a random passage to edit and revise, backtracking a bit until I'm sure I'm on the right path again.
It also helps to read something by another author on a similar topic. Today I flew through "The End of Unbelief--A New Approach to the Question of God" by Shane Hayes.
The End of Unbelief: A New Approach to the Question of God

This is exactly what I'm writing about but he has an entirely different perspective on it, meaning three things. First, people are interested in this topic and are reading this kind of book. Second, our intended audience is different, and third, my book (if and when it comes out) will not be in competition with his. Good to know.
Do you ever get bogged down in the middle of a book? What do you do to energize yourself?
"Many of life's failures
 are people who did not realize
how close they were to success
when they gave up."
~Thomas A Edison~
On March 28, 1986 the temperature reached 90 degrees in Central Pennsylvania, where I live. Hang in there! Winter will be over before you know it.


  1. Keep on'll get there.

    1. Thanks, Delores. It's a good thing writers enjoy the process as testy as it can be.

  2. Keep at it .... I'm willing to read anything you got .... esp bandaged place !!