>The Saggy Middle
>Ah, the saggy middle. Now, I’m not talking about my abs that need a minimum of 100 crunches an hour or even a tummy tuck (although, that would be fabulous). No, I’m talking about the author’s plight of hitting the middle of her story and wondering how to get through to the end. It’s the time in a lot of writers’ lives where little writing gets done and a sort of paralysis of the fingers and brain takes over. My cure, however, comes from my prior career as a therapist: go with the resistance. Taught by a wonderful mentor, going with the resistance is a practice of not arguing and fighting with what is so clearly the problem. So, even when my drug abusing client shouted that CPS was the cause of her child being removed, not her own behavior, I learned to listen, explore, and trust that the resistance would pass, and then I could point out the flaw in her logic.
How does this translate into my writing life? Well, 99% of the battle is trusting that where I am today is not where I’ll mentally be tomorrow (i.e. preoccupied with making a pot of chili, worrying about my upcoming flight, wondering how my main character will wake up to her poor choices.)
One of the delights of writing at home (for no pay) is that I make the rules and here is my cardinal rule when I’m in the saggy middle: daydream in silence. I did this for over an hour last night (albeit, in bed…okay, maybe it was ruminating.) Today, it was more intentional and you know what…it worked! I think I have the transitions I need. In fact, my characters are probably headed for Hawaii! Can I come along? I could really use a Blue Hawaiian as I sip and share rather than this dirty tasting green tea.
It’s tough tightening that saggy middle. It’s an area I’ve learned to accept and know that in time, a saggy middle eventually leads toward a smashing end!