The beginning and the end of writing a novel each has their own separate energy. In the beginning, we have the thrill of the new idea and fresh words on the page. We have the joy of saying we are a writer!
The end? We see the finish line. It’s no longer some vague hoped for ending over the distant hills. We can see it.
What about the middle? This is a place of wallowing, where books go to die. This is where novels unravel, life happens, and we just stop moving.
How do we get out of this? How do we keep going when we know the road ahead is still long, our ideas might not be worth anything and above all, we are tired.
There is no simple answer for this. There is a reason I have three finished novels and umpteen half-written ones.
The main reason I stop is that love is easily lost. When we are in the middle of our work it is much easier to complain because the story has lost its luster and is now more difficult than ever.
Difficulty gets a bad reputation. Because something is hard, that may be the very reason to go after it in the first place.
The next time you find yourself in the mucky middle do what long distance runners do. Write the next ten thousand words. Then the next. Focus on the small, short-term objectives of your story arcs.
Doing this four times is much easier on your mind than trying to get to forty thousand words.
Focus on the next marker, not the end. And above all, keep writing. I promise the work will be worth it in the end.