That Halfway Slump

There’s always a point half way through a book, when I feel like I’ve written a lot, but there’s still a lot to go, and it’s taking forever, and I’ll never reach the end and what I’ve written isn’t very good anyway – and I panic that I’ll never finish it and it’ll never be any good.

The first time it happened, I thought this was a genuine self-assessment, and I would have given up then and there if someone hadn’t been waiting for the book. I struggled through and got to the end, and the book turned out not so bad.

The second time, I thought it was really was genuine, that I couldn’t fix it twice. But no, I kept going and got through it.

This time, when it happened, I knew it was just that halfway feeling, a sort of Trough of Despair, right in the middle.

Now, I know to tell myself to keep going. Even if the end seems forever to get to, you will get through it. If you think it’s getting boring, well, you know the tricks now to make it better. (More excitement. Throw in a dead body or two. Have a chase.)

The best way to get through it is to take five days off from my day job, and just concentrate. Write every day, 2 or 3 chapters (as opposed to the half chapters I get done a day when I’m at the day job all day). Really make a big push. At the end, I’m over the hump (out of the trough? I’m mixing metaphors), I can see where I’m going, and I’m at the best, and most exciting bit – the hurtle to the end. It’s in sight, I know what to do next, and I know it’ll be finished soon (and, it being a crime book, it’s getting very exciting by this stage. The suspects are dropping off one by one, the detective is getting closer, can they stop the killer before he kills again? I swear, I get as excited it as I hope someone will be reading it)

I know now to expect the halfway trough, and how to fix it. Mind you, I still have a few days of depression when it starts, and I forget that this happens every time.

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