This is the condition I'm facing this week. Was Irresistible Harmony an oddity? Do I really have it in me to finish another one? Am I just wasting my time?
I blame this week's BIAW for the onset of this condition. I signed on with a pretty low goal--30 pages. And I started out with a bang--12 pages that first day. But it's been downhill from there. The last two days (not including today) I wrote a whopping 2 pages, and even that was like squeezing blood from a stone.
IH had been so easy for me. The story flowed like white water rapids. But I feel like I'm banging my head against the wall with BMO and SR. What changed?
Knowledge. That's what changed. When I penned the first draft of IH, I knew absolutely nothing about the craft of writing. And I cranked that first draft out with all the enthusiasm of a child faced with a mountain of gifts. I couldn't wait to dig in. But I did so without concern for the "rules" (more like guidelines). No thoughts to POV, scene & structure, GMC, or any of the other things that are pounded into writers' heads through workshops, books, and articles.
But then I learned. And often, knowledge is a dangerous thing. Because now, as I write, I'm continuously asking myself questions. Will this scene advance the plot? Is this action/dialogue in character for this person? Am I writing this scene in the right POV? Have I started the story too early? Used a good enough hook? Did that scene have an action and reaction and end with a question? Should I have really eaten that bag of Hershey's Kisses?
And all the wonderful things I've learned, all the techniques I've garnered that should make me a better writer, they all seem to be stifling me now. It's too much. And it's frustrating. Pull-my-hair-out-and-scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs frustrating.
So what's a writer to do?
The most popular advice is to plug away. Write. Daily. And turn off that internal editor. Ignore the devil on my shoulder whispering, just like Carrie's mother, "They're all gonna laugh at you."
I'm trying, but it ain't easy. Today, I decided to work out of order again. Instead of the next scene in SR, I'm working on a scene that I'd visualized and outlined. The setup for the Black Moment. The good news is I've so far written 6 pages, and I'm not finished.
My muse has drop kicked that devil off my shoulder, and has been whispering in my ear non-stop. And I won't stop writing until she stops talking.
MOOD: Really flockin' frustrated
MUSIC: "Bad Water" by Vaughn
PROGRESS: 1/2 page yesterday, 6 so far today