I was in the doldrums for the last couple of weeks with my current book.
The doldrums are a belt of very still air near the equator that in olden times stalled sailing ships. I felt stalled too. The job was too big for me. It was too daunting. I was too far into the journey to turn around and go back but I couldn’t see the distant shore line either.
I was in about the middle of the book when I got stuck: I’d written around 35,000 words.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to go on. I had it mapped out in my head and even on paper. And I had lots of stuff drafted. It was just that each chapter was so bloody hard and I still wasn’t positive that the idea was even going to work out in the end. For a while I felt as though the wind had gone out of my sails permanently. It was hard to believe I’d ever get moving again.
I knew the cure: push ahead. And I knew that once I got this next chapter done I’d see how close I was to the end and I’d pick up speed again. But the strength and courage I needed seemed to have deserted me.
I kept going somehow. I revised a lot, and plodded ahead a little, and now the breeze is picking up and the book is moving once more. Phew. I’m out of the doldrums I think, but it was scary there for a while.
A steady hand on the tiller, some courage and persistence and I should make it. Wish me luck.