Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Hello December, or Help! I’m stuck


You sure it’s December? Because it was in the upper 40’s (Fahrenheit) this week. In Minnesota. After Thanksgiving. To give you an idea, the average temps this time of year are around freezing. Usually snow doesn’t stick around until after Thanksgiving, but so far in my part of the Great White North, there’s been no white. You’ll have to head north, like Duluth or International Falls north, to find snow. If it hasn’t melted by now.

Seriously. It wasn’t that many years ago when it was in the teens on Thanksgiving Day.


I hit 50k words before the end of NaNo, so yay. Problem is, I’m losing momentum again. The story isn’t done. I’ve reached the spot where I’ve adjusted the storyline, but, well, …

Have you ever lost your “umph” for a story? You get to a point where you’ve lost all interest in the story, but you know you need to power through and finish the draft? Yep, welcome to my world. Part of it is the story, part of it is the time of year (how busy are you this time of year with potlucks, and parties, and ?), and part of it is the effing melonheads in DC doing their damndest to screw everyone who doesn’t make six or more figures.

So, how do you move through this mire?





Okay, I’m going to toss out some ideas.

Idea #1: Wade through it. I’ve got a rough outline, so I have a direction. It’s different–better, I like to think, but … And first drafts are supposed to be crappy, so I shouldn’t worry what it ends up being, because there’s going to be revisions. Lots of revisions.

Idea #2: Switch projects. I’ve got another story I plan on hitting after I finish the draft for Book 2. So, maybe I press the “Pause” button on Book 2 and start a self-imposed NaNo for my other project.

Idea #3: Go back to a past project and work on revisions. I’ve got a police procedural that needs some work, and I’ve actually done a little on it this past week. I’ve got a contemporary fantasy that needs some revising, and an epic/traditional fantasy that still needs the ending written. A genre change might be good.

Idea #4: Do something completely different. As in, not work on other projects sitting around. Write a short story, or revisit poetry, or hell, stream of consciousness writing through my anxiety about stuff I can’t fix.

Idea #5: Take a break. *silence* Yeah, that’s what I was doing before NaNo. I did NaNo to bust the non-writing slump. Nope. Scratch this one.

Idea #6: Take a walk. Or two. Or three. I haven’t done this for a while, partly because of the weather–even though it’s been unseasonably warm it’s been windy as hell, and partly because the gravel road I walk on is a high-traffic area this time of year since the neighbors are bringing in semi-trailer loads of harvested corn. All. The. Time. Not good to walk on a gravel road that hasn’t seen any sort of moisture for weeks with semi-trucks racing around on it. *Cough*

I like to listen to music when I write, so I’ve got that covered.

If you’ve got any other suggestions, drop them into a comment. It’s the weekend, so I’m going to write.

I will write.

Hear that, brain. I’m going to write, dammit.

You, too. Take advantage of the time before the holidaze, while the craziness is still somewhat manageable.


Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, seven chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

19 thoughts on “Hello December, or Help! I’m stuck

  1. Julie, I think I’ve lost momentum in the middle of every novel I’ve written. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know if I took a break or started another project, I’d never finish. I just square my shoulders, grit my teeth, and power through. My word count might be lower in those middle chapters, but some words are better than none. That’s the only way I get done. But my way might not work for you.

    Wishing you success!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. idea #7, start revising the unfinished one you lost oomph. once i start doing that, i gain back momentum – sometimes it’s faster, sometimes i revise a few chapters before my muse decides to make an appearance.. and yes, this season is unusually warm, and i’m on the other side of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie, I’m impressed with you working on so many writing projects. I have only one and sometimes feel bogged down. I’m hung up on how to get all the historical information in it without falling into info dumps. Go with Idea # 1…Power through it is the best way. Stick with your current book. Walks are good stimulation & and movies spark the imagination. Holidaze come and go, our books stay forever! 🌷 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Christine! I keep thinking about just writing through to the end, which, I suppose, is the best idea, otherwise it’s anyone’s guess as to when (or if) the draft will get done. And I’m going to take a walk today (and rake leaves, because fall πŸ™‚ ) Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Power on, Julie! I don’t know how you keep all those projects going – it gives me anxiety just reading about it. Ha ha (I’m a one project at a time girl). If I was talking to me, I’d say, “You need a sense of accomplishment. Finish something, even if it’s only a draft.” I’m also super good at bribing, I mean “rewarding” myself. I know you’ll figure it out. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ugh! I feel your pain. But I’m all for #1. It’s what I do every time (and trust me, it usually happens with EVERY book I write). it never fails that I hit subterranean levels and feel like I’ll never be ablate climb out out of the hole. The one thing I’ve learned is to power through no matter how awful the process. I’ve learned to be disciplined in my writing and stick solely with a single project at a time—even when writing a single scene feels like wallowing in cement. Go for it–I know you’ll break the barrier and fall in love with your WIP all over again πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Holidaze–I like that. Well, I think you know what I’d do, because it’s what I have done–just pick up and work on something else for a while. Also, with book 2 I have the middle part to write, which isn’t as much fun, so I skipped over it to do parts that come later. Admittedly, that’s kind of cheating but at least I kept writing, right?
    I DO have another suggestion for you, as a matter of fact: Idea #7 Beta read for a blog friend. πŸ˜‰ Hey, you did ask!! πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, the middle seems to be the mire for most writers. My problem is if I skip to the fun parts, chances are higher I’ll just not do the middle part–ever. So, I think trudging through it might be my best course. And yes, you can send the next chapter πŸ˜€


      • Which is why I jumped to the exciting part of book 2. Yes, I know I’ve done myself a disservice by not sloughing through the less fun part, but I’ll just have to get back to it. Chapter 7, I think, (I’ll double check) coming right up!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Is there a part in the story that you’re looking forward to? Cause you could always jump ahead, write the scenes you’re most excited about and then connect the dots later on. That seems like chaos to me (I’m an idea #1 kind of person) but I’ve heard it’s worked for a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good idea, J. Problem is, I’ve already written the part I’m most excited about. I think I’m going to have to take my characters out to lunch or something and get a better feel from them how things should go. Or power through. Yeah, maybe power through–if I can get my butt to stay in the chair πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on your 50K!, πŸŽ‰ Can’t you take a second to celebrate that since it’s no mean feat!! Well done and I’m not surprised you’re a bit burnt out after the intensive November. It’d suggest taking a break and working on something else for a while. Also walks are always good…but not for you at the moment! Sounds lethal with the heavy trucks on the road…how about turning up the music and having a mini bop? After my writing group on Friday I was inspired to start a new project…not sure what it will be but feels good to have that writing buzz again! Happy Writing, my friend! πŸ˜€β€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! I did manage to “enjoy” the last bit of warmish weather this weekend while raking leaves. Yep, figured we’d wait until all the trees are done, then rake them all at once. At least the garden’s happy (we put the leaves on the garden and till them in). It’s great to feel that writing buzz! Take advantage of it for sure πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

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