I knew it: I just had to execute. 

One of my ongoing projects is a long short story, or a novella, or maybe a novelette. In any case, it has five chapters. Last winter I made it almost exactly halfway through — finished the first two chapters in no time flat — and stalled midway through the third chapter.

About a month ago it occurred to me that I know how the thing ends, so maybe if I skipped over the third chapter for now, I could break the logjam.

A week went by, and two weeks, and then three, and I kept thinking if I would just jump to the fourth chapter … but you know me by now. It wasn’t happening.

Thursday night, I made a pledge: I would sit down Friday morning and plunge into the fourth chapter, and I wouldn’t get up against until I finished — the chapters are about 2,000 words each.

For once, I did what I said I was going to do. I started the fourth chapter and breezed right through it in a couple of hours.

I was having so much fun, I went ahead and wrote the fifth chapter, too.

Yes, you heard right. After writing almost nothing for months, I banged out nearly 4,000 words in one day.

So all of a sudden, I’ve completed the first two chapters, the last two chapters, and half of the middle chapter.

And all I had to do was sit down and commit myself to doing it. How hard was that?

Now, let’s set my sights on getting the rest of Chapter 3 done, and I will have completed my first longer-form fiction project in nine years. It’s barely a novella, not a novel at all, but baby steps, right?

What’s it about? Watch this space for some shameless self-promotion. I have to finish that middle chapter first.

2 thoughts on “Breakthrough

  1. Melville fell apart in the middle of Moby Dick too. Turned it into a travelogue and a documentary on whales at that point, he did. Thanks God he came up with a great ending. If I am ever considering reading the thing again I will definitely skip the middle part. Maybe it will be the same with this story. It could be worse…Moby Dick turned out to be a classic, right?

Leave a Reply