When I was a teenager, I went shopping on my own one day because I wanted to buy a new dress. I had been invited to a 16th birthday party, and my crush was going to be there. I had to get a new dress. (The chances of him having ANY idea who I was, or what clothes I already own was minimal, but then fifteen year olds don’t usually know that.)
Off I went, and I found one that I really liked. I tried it on, and flaunted it in the mirror. Yes: definitely the right dress. And then I discovered what thousands of women – and presuambly men – discover every day in shopping changing rooms. It is often far easier getting into a piece of clothing than getting out of it.
The dress got stuck around my shoulders, and my face was covered by the skirt section. I was completely wedged, and to my utter shame, I had to get a sales assistant in to help me out of it. I don’t know who was more embarrassed. I didn’t buy the dress, and I still go red just thinking about it today, almost a decade later.
But getting stuck halfway isn’t just a phenomenon that we encounter when trying on clothes: I believe that it is a very real writing problem that many people face.
I am having difficulties. I officially reached the half way point of the novel a week ago…and I haven’t written a word since.
Why is this? Why does the drive to write disappear, why am I caring less about my characters now? If I don’t care about them, why on earth should anyone else? And can I just leave my characters to their own devices because I can easily get distracted by the television?
I’m learning to accept that sometimes, the muse isn’t around. The writing just doesn’t flow, and there’s almost no point in writing anything, because I’ll just want to delete it all the next time I look at it. But there is a world of difference between not having the muse, and not having the motivation. Being a writer is a full-time job, not something that I can pick up and put down again at a whim. Even my procrastination is writing based – writing for some of my freelance clients, or popping over to this blog.