I’d like to blame the heat for my malaise, but I know that’s not really it. After approaching the halfway mark, I stalled out. I hadn’t expected it since I have a pretty good idea where everything is going, but there it was. I was having a hard time pressing forward.
Some of it could be attributed to the first draft feel of the work ahead of me. It feels like taking a few steps backward even though this is the third go around. I’m sure it has something to do with the feeling that I’ve put in so much work and want to feel closer to being done.
- First and foremost I tried not to beat myself up over the relative lack of production.
- Second I kicked up my reading schedule some, reading The Scar by China Mieville (see side bar for link) and the occasional short story from any number of places (Just got my first issue of Realms of Fantasy and I have several short story anthologies). I even watched a movie (Hot Fuzz – watch it if you haven’t – great comedy).
- Third, I took time away from writing and enjoyed the 4th of July weekend in the company of family. Good old fashioned physical fun (swimming, teaching our daughter to swim, jumping in the water, etc.) does wonders to clear the gunk from my mind.
- Fourth, I did write regularly, but just not at my normal rate (1k-2k words daily), so that helped. I tinkered with some stuff I’d already written so I could get my head around where I was really going, the timeline of events, and so on. This was invaluable for getting my head back into the story deep enough where I could sustain longer periods of productive writing.
Now, with copious amounts of A/C and coffee, I’m moving forward again. I’m shooting to have some copies of my story to send to beta readers late this summer. That’s a big deal because it will mark the first time that anyone other than me or my wife have had a look at the story. I look forward to seeing what comes back (I think).
I’m sure there are other methods to get back on track, but these are the one that work for me. What do you do to get your writing back on track from the fits and starts into which we sometimes fall — an artistic defibrillation if you will.