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Suffering from the mid-book block

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

I understand about the ‘shitty first draft’ that Stephen King speaks of, but prefer the definition from NaNoWriMo - ‘your first draft is a mining expedition to sift through for the diamonds’.

The problem I have is that I haven’t finished the digging yet.

Sixty thousand words in and I’ve hit a wall. Instead of ploughing on, getting through my story and developing my characters as they encounter their trials, I feel that I’m going backwards.  I’m tweaking, not even writing.  I change a word here, a sentence there. I get hung up on research, writing notes I probably won’t even use. And I’m tying myself in knots.

I’ve read endless blogs on how to fix this. I’ve washed dishes, taken hot showers, walked, looked through photo albums, listened to music, not listened to music, turned off the internet (God, that was hard!), exercised (that was hard too), played games. I’ve swapped rooms to write, tried to change the time I write, read other people’s books. 

It all seemed like procrastination.

I write for other people – I’m in internal communication. I write to deadlines for organisations without any problem at all, so I’m stumped as to why I can’t make my own deadlines for something which is important to me. 

One of the most prolific indie writers is Shannon Mayer, who said in one memorable podcast for The Bestseller Experiment that ‘your muse is your bitch. You have to get it to show up when you want to write, not the other way round.’

Well, my muse appears to have gone AWOL. I’ll let you know when it’s located again.

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