With apologies to Stealers Wheel: Brain freeze to the left of me, grumpy humps to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with…nowt. Flipping nothing.
Go on, confess. You sang the actual song in your head. You visualised this scene from Reservoir Dogs didn’t you?
Spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen this film, although where on earth have you been for the last 24 years? Don’t watch if you have surgery issues though. Or an ear ache.
I’d like to be in this scene right now. Mainly for the funky dance moves, but the way I’m presently feeling, cutting off my ear could possibly be more comfortable.
The dreaded ‘middle’
Cheers writer’s block. Self-doubt. Lazy git-itis. Self-lobotomy. Whatever you call it, I don’t want to be here with you; stuck.
I have reached ‘the middle’. I now understand the pain. I’ve read the blogs and websites where writers have detailed the abrupt halt that often comes when you reach the middle of your novel. Not me, I thought. I have far too many ideas, I thought. I feel so inspired, I thought.
I am an idiot, I now think.
The reality of the sticky middle is here, and I am somewhat PVA glued in it. Not quite Superglued. Yet.
I guess you can liken it to a job. You go to the interview and you’re excited. You have so many ideas. You’re on your nauseatingly best behaviour, and you convince them you can do this. Just like when the ideas first come for your novel.
You are successful. You begin your job/novel. Life is sweet. The people/characters are friendly, helpful and you’re overjoyed at your shiny new group of best friends.
Then it happens. You come to the middle of your job/novel. The rose-tinted specs tinge to black. These people (sorry characters, but they are real in my world) are actually not as great as they led you to believe. In fact, they are cockwombles. They just don’t want to do things your way.
Here I am. Stuck in the middle with a load of colleagues/characters who just won’t play ball. Their behaviour is unpredictable. I daren’t accept their offer of coffee for motivation. They may pee in it. They are sneaky like that.
Then I remember. I am in charge here. These people will do what I say, or they will be fired. I have the power to inflict a terminal illness upon them, plagues, or even death. They should be quaking in their boots.
So for now I’m going to write some twaddle because, here comes another revelation, there is a beautiful thing called editing. I may just repeatedly write my name or a tome for the Tesco* food shop, but at least it will be writing. I will curse myself when I edit the first draft, but any writing is better than nothing right now.
So let’s see who makes it out alive. With or without an ear. Now, there is a plot idea…
*They state, ‘Every little helps’; does this extend to providing plot ideas? Can you add that to the home delivery? I think it’s listed under ‘wine’.