It comes and goes but most of the time I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall. I’m stuck. The story is there but it won’t come out. I try to force it and nothing happens. Write, I say. Just write. Whatever comes out, let it out. Just let the words come out even if they are awful and nonsensical and don’t get me anywhere.
The worst of it is, I know where I want this novel to go. I have it planned out. I have a very loose outline that tells me that, barring any unforeseen character actions, I have 10 scenes left to write at about 1,500 words each. That’s 15,000 words which puts me at my ultimate word count goal of about 75,000 words. I wrote 50,000 words in one month last November and I can’t write 15,000 words right now.
Maybe I’m looking at it too clinically. Maybe I’m being too pragmatic. As I’ve said before, I’ve never been the type of writer to outline. Outlines make me feel claustrophobic, boxed in. Outlines kill my writing. That’s what I did here, I know it. But I thought I had to. I want to finish this book. I thought if I just gave myself a deadline – March 31 according to my day planner – then I’d be able to complete the draft. I need to complete this draft.
I’m tired of feeling stuck. Stuck not only in my writing but in my life. I know that plans don’t ever go the way we anticipate them to, but I guess I thought I’d be published by now. I thought that I’d have an agent and a book deal and a book on the shelves at the local bookstore and library. I’m tired of writing and failing again and again.
I thought that if I jump-started my writing back in November that it wouldn’t be that long before I had another finished novel under my belt, that I could determine if this one would go into my list of queried novels or not. I thought that 50K words in a month would mean less time spent on it. And yet, since November, I’ve written an additional 5K. That’s it. 5K. Oh, I’ve revised what I wrote in November. I’m on the third draft of 2/3rds of my novel. It’s just that other 1/3rd that seems so out of reach. Like it’s on the other side of a brick wall and I simply can’t pummel through it.
I’ve had one really good day in the last month when I wrote over 1,000 words. Yes, I thought, this is it, I’m back into it. Except that since then, I’m lucky to get to 200 words. At this rate, I won’t be done with this draft until the summer. I can’t wait that long. My sanity won’t allow it.
This is how it goes: I stare at the computer screen and tell myself to write because I know what’s coming next. I know what needs to happen. I know the next sentence. I do. I’m not stuck in that I don’t know what happens next. I’m stuck in that the words don’t want to come out. I type a word or two and then … nothing.
I don’t know how to fight this. I keep telling myself that I need to hunker down and do this book and finish it and revise it and then take a break and decide if I want to keep doing this to myself over and over again. I don’t want to give up on this book. It’s solid. It’s really, really good. It’s one of the best things, if not the best thing, I’ve written. I can’t give up on it.
I’m just finding that, for whatever reason, I also can’t write it.