I think the middle ground is dangerous for a writer.
The middle ground of any project is always, to me, when the doubts start to creep in and you start to second guess yourself. I think I’m realising that this is true in a more general way for a writer when you’re in the middle ground between novice and competent because you’re aware of all the good writers out there working just as hard as you; of the gap between what you have in your head and what you’ve got down on the page; of the need to press on but the need to refine to a razor’s edge.
I’ve been fighting in that kill zone* that drags so many down for a while now and so the last fortnight’s been a bit of a slog.
The full thrust of my focus has been on The Scarred God rewrite. I’ve finished the submission package rewrites, had some feedback on them, and and am pressing on with the tidying of the wider manuscript: just in case. However, I can’t say it’s been easy, I know the story so well by this point I do worry I keep sliding back into “phoning it in” which I think is one of the problems that tarnishes the previous draft. The difference this time is that I have specific changes in mind to tighten up the through line of the piece and to clean up the prose that should keep me on the straight and narrow. It’s a slog.
At least I won’t feel slightly ashamed the next time I send it out.
What’s hard for one project is good for another. On the positive side, I have been noodling along – albeit slowly – with All That Glitters and the good thing is that my inner editor is getting worked so hard he’s checked out on this one which is – generally speaking – a good thing for a first draft as it means you actually get a full draft done. I’m into act two and enjoying the change in rhythm from my normal work. Walking round the city is helping improve my scene setting too. All hail the mild weather!
Anyhow: stupid busy and so that’s all for now.
Mood: Slightly frayed…
* Fiction writer: drama’s my thing – go with it.