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How To Overcome The “Messy Middle”

The Messy Middle is that time when writing your manuscript isn't fun anymore. You feel like you’ve hit the wall, where words have stopped flowing easily and all your efforts feel like a slog. "Why bother?" you wonder, as you search your brain for that missing spark of inspiration.

As I was writing my memoir, the messy middle showed up unexpectedly. Words had been flowing easily and I was excited to get up in the morning to play with my story. Then my creative well ran dry. It was a time of stalling out and feeling frustrated. The messy middle can show up in different ways for different people. A fiction writer shared that he had hit the wall because he started doubting his characters. Perhaps you’ve lost track of the plot, or your structure isn’t working. How can you get through this stage without giving up on your project altogether?

This can be the perfect time to put your writing aside for a couple of weeks, with a commitment to return after your break. You may want to consider connecting with a small group of other writers at a similar stage of their writing, to re-energize your writing.  You’ll return with fresh eyes, and the ability to hear constructive feedback. Interacting with other writers helped me to re-engage with my half-finished manuscript and find that creative spark again.

My Energizing Editing series is designed for writers feeling stuck in their writing process. Don’t let the word “editing” throw you off. All feedback is provided within a respectful framework; there are no red pens or critical comments when you join an Energizing Editing group. Here’s what Brittany Veenhuysen experienced when she joined an Energizing Editing series:

"I hadn't touched my manuscript for over six months when I joined Energizing Editing. It was half-done, but I wasn't confident about it, and I was getting bored of revising it. Reading it out loud and receiving feedback in Energizing Editing gave me confidence, as well as a clear path forward in revision.

I solved a lot of inconsistencies in my plot in a short time and got excited about my manuscript again! I wasn't as far away from finishing it as I thought... Six months after Energizing Editing wrapped up, I have a finished manuscript that I'm preparing for a manuscript review!"

Brittany’s words highlight that a loss in momentum signals that a change is needed. An audience can pull you back into a state of creativity, getting you through the tough part. Finding or creating a group of conscious listeners can get you moving again!

If you're in the messy middle with your writing project, put your writing away in a special drawer and save a spot in Energizing Editing! We start on November the 2nd. Click below to learn more.


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