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:~: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 :~:

Plateaus

I've hit a serious plateau--in writing and in life.

It's one of those things you can feel coming on, battle against it like swimming upstream. Sometimes you break through and move forward. Sometimes you fatigue and flow with the current.

And sometimes--like me, now--you just sit here. And wait.

Work is...well, work. I keep dreaming of that sale that allows me to quit. My beads are more a chore than a joy, but working part-time forces me to continue making and selling them on ebay for a fraction of their value (and my time) because, well, some money pays some bills, right?

Unfortunately, I have no inspiration in either area.

Writing...sigh. I'm revising Safe In Enemy Arms, and I'm less than thrilled about it. I mean, I like the changes. I'm refining a stronger voice, digging deeper into character, twisting and reshaping the plot. But as anyone who has gone through umpteenth deep revision knows...it's not fun.

On the personal front, my weight loss for the summer has also stalled. The good news is that I'm toggling between the 11 and 12 pound weight loss mark...the bad news is that I'm STUCK there.


My solution to these plateaus varies. If I'm energetic, I push past the boulder blocking the flow of water and upstream where an oasis waits. If I'm not, I put my head down, my blinders on and one foot in front of the other.

That's where I'm at now. Every once in a while, I take a peak in the direction of that oasis, then put my head down and keep going.

September's got to be better, right? Kids are in school which means more time for writing, beading, excercise, less stress, more focus. The publishing industry should be back up and running from their August vacations...and maybe I'll get some answers back on Hiding In Plain Sight, the ms that's still sitting in three editors' agent-slush piles.


We won't discuss the troll hovering in the dark corner of my brain telling me that September means getting up early every morning to get the kids to school, taxying them around town to their various sports activities, helping with homework and reports and tests, shorter days... No. We won't go there at all.

What do you do when you hit that plateau?

5Comments:

Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

The revisions are great. Stop second-guessing yourself. :)

I'm right there with you, pulling for school to start. At least then there'll be routine, and you can "plan" writing time (and plotting time, and brainstorming time, and wasting time - something I'm particularly good at.)

12:51 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

I'm kind of at a plateau as well. I need to get on with the second book of my spirit trilogy, but I seem to be hovering not going forward, in fact, coming up with excuses why I haven't time to get back to it.

My plan now is to take a trip up to the area the story is set in and get myself back into the story. But that won't happen until the end of September and that's a long time to sit on my plateau.

I figure once I get the extra people out of my house I can get my brain wrapped around the book. I hope!

Hang in there Joan, something will come along and give you a boost in all the stalled areas of your life.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

I like that idea of visiting the place you're writing about. I have that situation with one of my mss and when I get ready to revise that one (cringe) I think that will be a great jump start.

But you gave me an idea. I've been meaning to put together a collage for this ms--magazine pics of my characters, setting, etc. I'm a visual person, and I think that might help me out of "hovering" mode.

Thanks! Hope you climb past your plateau soon, too.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

I really related to your post. I feel as if I've been on a plateau for ages.

A vacation may help. Or a nap.

Good luck, Joan! The kids are back in school--fall is always a new start and that's a good thing.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

I really think I'm on the down hill side of my plateau, Joan.

It was a long, hard battle to get to this point too. Things seem to be moving so fast now, though. Like I fought my way over the side and the momentum of the struggle really kicked in--adding to the sudden onslaught of speed.

Going from a standstill to full throttle is a giddy feeling. Just keep struggling and you'll hit that edge and take a tumble yourself.

Theresa

12:00 AM  

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