Wow, this year the holiday season has really thrown me off my writing rhythm — and it’s not even over yet! Maybe that’s just an excuse and the real reason I’m having a hard time is that I’ve reached a tough plot point in revising my YA novel and it’s frustrating. Quite frankly, it’s limping — instead of loping — along. You know that feeling? If you do — and I bet dollars to donuts you’re familiar with it — then you now how seductively easy it can be to use something like the holidays as an excuse for running in low gear.
Still, there really have been some things going on that have slowed me down. For one thing, my son Alex is home from college for a nice long vacation, so we’re hanging out a bit together (not that he’s around much now that his friends are back), but I’m definitely getting more ambitious than I’ve been for a while on the cooking front. My French apple pie was a big hit.
In any case, whether or not this holiday activity is really just a lame excuse for not sitting on my butt, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But that’s beside the point. I had a good rhythm going there for a while with my novel revision and now I’m off track and having a hard time getting back in my groove.
Here’s my plan for handling this rough patch: Instead of getting bent out of shape because I’m not making enough progress, I’ve decided to narrow my field for right now. I’m taking one relatively short, but really important scene, and I’m going to keep working it over during my next few writing sessions until it’s sharp and really sparkles. This may not be great progress, but it is moving my story forward — and that’s what counts. And while I’m polishing this short piece of text, I’m going to see if I can work myself back into the rhythm that I seem to have lost.
Has this ever happened to you? You were going gangbusters and suddenly fell off your writing game? If so, any suggestions for getting back on track?