Monday, May 18, 2009

Slumps

I’ve been reminded that this is a writing blog.

It used to be much more about writing but that was in the days when mostly I was blogging about not writing. Or the posts would be about how I’d working out what the problem was and now I was on track again.

A couple of days later, I’d be posting about not writing again.

So mostly, it’s accurate to say that I when I talk here about writing … I’m not… writing, that is.

I haven’t been writing recently. There seems to be so much else to do but I recognise that I’m not using my time efficiently. I could do it all; I could certainly do more. So what is it?

There’s often talk about the 30,000 word slump or the 70,000 word slump and I’ve never been able to join in because I didn’t know (other than the No Word Slump, about which I can expound for weeks) which was my personal slump.

Anyway, I’ve got it: I think it’s the 50,000 word slump.

I’ve managed so far to weave in my various story lines between all the characters and now I’ve got all these balls in the air and I haven’t the remotest idea how to manage their coming back down to earth. And that’s what I’ve got to do… They can’t all arrive at catching height at the very same second because I’ve only got two hands and after all I have to hold out on the reader. Some of the issues have to be resolved later than others but all the subplots are tied up within the central story…

…so how to do it?

*Sigh*

15 comments:

DJ Kirkby said...

Ooooh I feel for you. I have several book balls in the air too. Kind of know how to bring them down but am avoiding it out fo fear of dropping one. :( I need a writing holiday, not from writing but so I can do nothing except write.

DOT said...

I find a large shrimp net helps.

JJ Beattie said...

DJ, usually divine intervention occurs and 'tells' me the way it's to be... but I'm still waiting right now. Ho hum...

DOT, that's a brilliant idea! Thank you.

Debs said...

I hate the slumps, so sympathize with you.

SueG said...

It"s a toughie, to be sure. I find humiliation helps...ie, how humiliated will I feel if I don't finish this thing I've spent months/years working on? The answer is always "pretty damn humiliated," and that gets me going :-) But I know with this new book, 50,000 words was definitely my slump.

Lane said...

I know the feeling. Oh so well. I will take on board Sue's suggestion of humilation. That's sure to work:-)

JJ Beattie said...

Thanks Debs. No advice then?

Sue, lol. Well, at least you made me laugh, m'dear! Thank you.

Lane, I think that's the only thing for it!

HelenMHunt said...

That's a difficult one - but I always think it's good to have a lot going on in the plot - you can always streamlione it when you edit. It would be much worse to be worried that not enough was happening.

Carol and Chris said...

You always do your best thinking when your not actually thinking about it!! Get on with your other stuff, have a few drinks or go do something lovely and completely unwriting related and I'm sure you will come up with the answers your looking for :-)

C x

Helen said...

You have the slumps?! Well that makes you a proper writer!

Don't panic.

I often find the answer comes to me whilst I'm doing something totally mundane. When I was driving to the supermarket yesterday something came to me on the other novel I'm working on...so allow yourself to daydream. x

Alexa said...

I agree with the day dreaming. I always have my best ideas when swimming. Of course then there is nowhere to write anything down, so I have to chant like a mad women so I don't forget my "brilliant" idea!

Good luck

JJ Beattie said...

Helen, yes, you're right. I thought I had plenty, but think maybe I'll add one more.

Carol, thanks honey.

Helen, Yes, I'm sure you're right. Panic is not very conducive to day dreaming though.

Alexa, Yes, doing those other things is crucial. Trying to hard to think is not useful. Thank you.

Leigh said...

I had a 50k slump too. I went on holiday to one of my book locations - and wrote another 20k while I was there. So, stick it out until the end of June, and you'll be fine!

Karen said...

Damn those pesky balls - I know the feeling. For me what helps is writing a little 'reminder' profile of each character's personality traits and asking myself "okay - what would so-and-so do right NOW that would either add some more conflict to the situation or resolve what's going on?"

Good luck :o)

uphilldowndale said...

Will the balls bounce off on interesting trajectories if you let them drop?