It's been a wild week, with a blissful rest stop at the spa on Thursday. (Don't hate me because I'm so relaxed, it was a gift certificate!) But all this chillaxing helped me discover what I'm currently battling against:

"Fear of the slumpy middle"
We've all had this happen with one thing or another. A new project or shiny new idea starts with such promise and enthusiasm, we joyfully put pen to paper or apples in the apple peeler/corer/slicer/dicer or head to the paint store.

In other words, we get swept away. Any snide remarks from our inner critics are drowned out by the oohs, ahhs and squeals as we delight in the brilliance of the words, aromas or wall colours. We don't mind fumbling along, because it's all so new and groovy.

Then we hit the middle.

It's the part of the project when the motivating oomph of beginning is long forgotten and the white light at the end of the tunnel hasn't shown up on the radar yet. For some, it's a dark and scary place; for others, it's when the evil "whatever" strikes -- making us think that other ideas, recipes or rooms to decorate would be so much better than the pile of drec we're working on right now.

It's the slumpy part of the process that places us all into two groups: those who love to start and those who are determined enough to finish.

It's fine to be a member of both groups, but if you're only going to buy one team t-shirt, be sure to sign up for the team that gets to the finish line.

I'm sure you've read a book, tasted a recipe or walked into t a room that didn't quite meet your expectations. Overall, it's fine, but there's something about it that sags a little. Too much description in the part where the heroine is picking out what to wear on her first date with the hero, too few strawberries in the feildberry pie or a coffee table that overwhelms the overall balance of the living room.

It's not a big thing, but it's enough to make you keep on shopping.

That's where I'm a t right now in my WIP: the dreaded slumpy middle. Of course, my middle will not be slumpy; every scene will have a purpose with no extraneous babble about zombie-loving flamenco dancers or gratuitous chocolate fountains.

Le sigh. At least, that's what I'm trying not to do. :)

How about you? How do you keep things fresh at the middle of a project?

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