How can I escape the muddy middle?

by A writer's life

Something isn’t quite working out in my life as far as writing goes. So it’s time to do something about that. Let’s start… An accountability blog series! 😅

…at a minimum, monthly updates on where I’m at in my writer’s journey, progress, trials and tribulations, lessons learnt.

Something like that.

I’ll sprinkle that with life updates as well. Because, let’s face it, at least 13 percent of people on the internets are probably interested in the goings on in my life.

Or at least 13 percent of the people who know I exist.


At any rate, it’ll keep me interested in writing these updates.

Let’s get to it…

Book status

For the past couple of years it’s been a six-monthly ritual to log into the backend of my website, open up the post about my first novel, which I’m still working on, and change the date for the next milestone.

The next milestone being the first draft.

I’m a master procrastinator, so that doesn’t help when it comes to pumping out words.

Meaning, the first draft is only about 40 percent done when I thought that it would have been 100 percent done a couple of years ago.

As you can see, I’m at 23,455 words of about 60,000.

Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t bad. At least not if that were the result of a few weeks or months of writing.

So, what’s the plan then?

I’ve clearly got myself stuck in the muddy middle. (I think that’s a technical writers’ term, actually.)

So I have come up with a three-point plan.

  1. Outline the book again: I started out with a very high-level plot outline. Then I went off course. I didn’t mind that. Pantsing, here we go. Not planning ahead suits my personality too. But I got stuck somewhere in one of the pant(sing) legs… So it’s back to plotting again. Here’s hoping that a good, updated outline will help me get unstuck.
  2. No more EAYG (Editing As You Go): As a communication professional, my brain constantly runs a filter in real-time on anything I say or write. I’m pretty sure it’s what it would be like to have the content moderators at Twitter, X, Facebook the Ministry of Public Security looking over my shoulder and pointing out spelling errors and badly worded sentences with the potential to cause mental anguish and moral corruption whenever I write antyhing. Meaning, I’m constantly (yes, I just spotted the typo – antyhing – in the previous sentence, and I’m making a conscious effort to not go back and correct it) looking back over my last couple of sentences to see if I can improve them before moving on. This way of working is not very conducive to getting into a writing flow state. So, step two in my plan is to fight the urge to EAYG and save it for later, so that I can concentrate on getting words on the page and moving the plot along.
  3. Write every day: This is probably more important than points 1 and 2 put together. I need to show up and write every day. Some days it will be 1500 words. Other days it will be 15 words. But I have it on good authority that even if you only end up producing one word on some days, sitting down to write your book every day will make it easier to write more in a shorter time. So, I’ll do that. Starting tomorrow. 😅

So there it is. My three-step plan to get out of the muddy middle. I’ll let you know next month how I went.

Life update

This month has involved a lot of weather.

We kicked off 2024 with a blizzard. We got well over a meter of snow in a couple of days.

Problem was, it was super windy – to the tune of 80km/h winds – meaning the snow didn’t distribute evenly, so we had two-meter-deep snow in some places. And it was nearly impossible to keep the roads open.

It looked like this:

We live in Norway. The land of midnight sun, and snow. So snow is not unusual here. But we live on the coast, about as far south in Norway as you can get. And while we do still get snow here too, it’s usually just a few centimeters at a time. And then the rain will melt away the snow after a couple of days.

This time around, the snow stayed for weeks. And then we got more. And more.

So it was close to a natural disaster. Schools closed for 2-3 days, which is highly unusual here. And some building roofs caved in because of the heavy load of snow.

But then, after a few weeks of that, the rain came. And we got buckets and buckets of rain. So the snow that we thought might stick around until Easter (because there was so much of it) ended up turning to water and running off into creeks and rivers and causing ice blockages and flooding.

(The buses clearly don’t stop for a bit of floodwater here…)

This week we ate sushi out for the first time in over half a year.

Back when we lived in Australia, we would eat out all the time. Here in Norway, it’s really expensive to eat out, so it’s more of a special occasion when you do that here.

It was lovely! 🥹

Lots more happened during the month too of course. But I think that’s enough of a life update.

Got to keep some secrets for myself too. 😁

Until next time… Cheerio!