The Mid Novel Blues

It’s been almost four months that have passed since the end of National Novel Writing Month when I wrote the first 50,000 words of my second novel. Since then, I’ve only written 18,000 more, and I feel like I’m only just starting to get to the good parts. But, I’m getting hung up on those good parts.

All signs point to me getting the blues writers often experience when they reach the middle of a book. I’ve told the beginning, which is the part I knew how to tell the best. It came easily. It was fresh and exciting. But now, I don’t know what happens. I’m finding that in the world I’ve created, I don’t have all the answers.

I’ve been neglecting my creativity purely out of procrastination. I feel like calling it “writer’s block” blames it on something outside myself, when really the resistance comes from inside of me. The unknown is uncomfortable, even when you’re the one laying the brick of the path you’re walking on.

I can’t say I’m exactly back on the horse yet, but I’ve given myself permission to write anything, even if it’s not my novel. My mind gets on one track and I feel I have to focus on one project and nothing else. I’ve been finding out the hard way that it prevents distraction from the project in a way, but it also can stifle my creativity.

This last week I’ve been pulling out my old tools for prompts and spinning up some short fiction to get the wheels turning again. I’ve found that by not having a story in mind, my writing flows a bit easier, and the shorter form lends itself more to lyrical writing.

I don’t often share my writing with many people, but I feel that maybe it’s time to release some of it into the world, even if it’s not quite as polished as I’d like. I’ll be posting some of my stories, along with the prompts or tools that I used.

I’m trying to work my way into a regular cadence of writing for at least ten minutes a day, even if I don’t complete a story. But, usually ten minutes turns into thirty. The 100 Day Project will be starting soon, on April 3rd. The goal is to do something creative every day for 100 days. For my creative action, I want to write a short piece of fiction, even if it’s only a paragraph. If all goes well, I’ll have 100 short stories – and that’s a lot more stories than I’ve ever told in my life. It seems like a large goal, but if other people can manage it, so can I.

I’d encourage you to take a shot at creating something for 100 Day Project too, be it a poem, a painting or a sketch. What is something creative you think you could do for 100 days? Leave your response in the comments!

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