Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Slump

It happens around 20,000 words or 30,000 words. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. But I think there comes a point for every writer where they take their hands off the keyboard, sit back, and say, "Now what?" We have ideas where the story is going. We might even have timelines or plans. But there is a moment when there seems to be no way to get from point A to point B. So we slow down and maybe stop completely. Maybe we lose our excitement or our drive.

That's when you know you've hit the slump.

How to get past this seemingly impossible obstacle? There is the obvious answer, of course: just keep going. I've said this and I've heard this and I'm beginning to get annoyed. Because even though there really is nothing else to do, it's just so hard. There are other ways to get past this, albeit this comes before the just keep going part. Make a list of all possible ways the story could go. (You know how much I love my lists.) Think on it. Dwell so deeply. Toss prospects back and forth with your friends.

One thing I'm still learning about the slump: it doesn't mean you've lost your talent, or your "touch". You're still a writer and you're still capable of banging out a great story. Everyone runs into the slump. We are not alone in our deflation. (That's kind of a fun word.) Try not to start anything new - that's when the trouble starts. The endless cycle. So, point of today's post. You can get past the slump. And once you do, it'll be worth the struggle.