The path forward

I don’t have any new material for you to read.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been stuck trying to figure out how to finish Four Seasons. Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that. I know how I want the story to end, but I’m struggling to find a path from where I am to where I need to be.

This is familiar territory. It happens with every single story, and the way I deal with it is less than ideal, which is partly why I write so slowly.

When I get stuck, two things happen.

First, I re-write compulsively—usually the last ‘finished’ chapter. For example, I’ve spent eight days straight, re-writing the same 1000 words (over and over). This is a ridiculous thing to do, but the conscious (so-called logical) part of my brain tells me the writing is no good and doesn’t fit the story. There may be a morsel of truth to this, but I think it’s mostly my brain trying to find a path forward using brute force.

The second thing I do is procrastinate—and this usually involves becoming compulsive about something else. Right now, I’m learning how to build a camper-van from scratch. To be clear, The likelihood of me ever owning (or living in) a camper-van is close to zero. I’d be fine with it, but I think my wife and son wouldn’t. On a positive note, the upside of this type of compulsion is I end up learning something new, which makes me feel productive.

So there you have it—23,000 words in, and I can see the top of the mountain but haven’t figured out how to reach it.

Cheers for now, and may all your compulsions be productive.

Mark