What do you do when the story you’re working on has ballooned to forty-ish pages and seems to have strayed into exquisite boredom, which means that you think you like your sentences but that nothing is happening, or rather, the things that are happening don’t feel remotely right—and you have no idea what would feel right because you've totally lost your vision for the story. This is after you had a solid chunk of time that you could devote to working on this story without major interruption and distraction and you thought you were on a good path. Oh, and by the way, this is the story that feels like the linchpin piece to the larger project you’re working on…which you now also find yourself doubting and questioning and also see straying into exquisite boredom because you've totally lost your vision for that project. Ack!
What do you do when you doubt that you’ll ever emerge from this writing morass?
Well, here’s what I do:
--remind myself that I have been in this sort of writing morass about a thousand-million-zillion times before
--remind myself that when I’ve been in this writing morass in the past, I’ve always found a way out, eventually
--remind myself that “eventually” doesn’t necessarily mean “right now”
--remind myself that one way I got out of the morass in the past was to take a break and step away from the piece
-remind myself that another way I got out of the morass in the past was to plow through and keep going even though I didn’t know what I was doing
--ponder how it’s possible to do both of those things, stepping away and plowing through, at the same time
--decide that it’s literally impossible to do both of those things at once, stepping away and plowing through, impossible!
--remember that writing always requires the impossible
--remember that doing the impossible requires faith in oneself
--go ahead and DO the impossible: simultaneously stepping away and plowing through, knowing that this morass, too, will be resolved eventually
--open a nice bottle of red wine at dinner
--watch bad T.V.