...the Tough Get Going as the song goes.
Only, in my case, I find myself wondering whether it might be better to give up and try something else. I'm talking about the novel I am working on - or not, as happens more often. But I'm a stubborn old bat and will keep plodding on to the bitter end even if it kills me although at times it feels it will more than likely bore me to death.
I'm not someone who gives daily bulletins on my progress. I've explained before how I hate boasting about how many words I've produced in the last day or week. For good reason. Looking back through this blog I found a post when I did just that: boasted my delight that I'd reached 35,000 words. (Cue hollow laugh because, you see, I've just this minute checked the word count and it's now - wait for it - 29,976.)
You see, I'd reached a critical point with my first draft when the general messiness, inconsistencies and plot holes/personality changes had become obstacles to progress and with every new paragraph they were getting more insurmountable. There was nothing for it but to go right back to the beginning and revise extensively. In doing so I also removed about 5,000 words of waffle, repetition and other stuff that didn't work. (And let's be honest, there was days when the process was becoming so tedious, I didn't didn't open the file at all.)
But at least, what I have ended up with may be shorter but it's leaner, fitter and more comprehensible. Then I set to with the rest with more joy, focus and commitment until...
One day I had a sudden silly urge to look again at the opening of a novel I wrote for an experiment years ago.
Now the floodgates have opened and more ideas are starting to flood in about that completely different novel and I keep stopping to jot down rough notes. Meanwhile, the manuscript I'm supposed to be concentrating on feels like chewing stale bread without any jam.
So here are a few questions.
Do you get jaded when you're just under half-way through a work in progress? How do you stay motivated? (And don't glibly tell me you're working to a strict deadline. Some of us do not have yet have publishers' contracts to fulfil. I do have a lovely agent who is keen to see the finished manuscript but she is not pressuring me.)
Do you ever have another novel snapping at your heels when writing another? Does it feel like falling in love with someone else when your current relationship is stuck in a rut? How do you resist the urge to get between the sheets with your new love?
And even more importantly, how do you stop getting your metaphors in a mighty mixed-up mess?