The Holidays and Traveling Slowly…

December has been an interesting month. Besides the uptick of Holiday events and other matters requiring my attention such as my two older children entering finals and needing support.

And though I have returned to exercising–I walk and climb hills–and my body feels great, I have simultaneously felt a general lag of energy to write.

Most specifically it has been difficult to write on my novel that accomplished a fair amount on during NaNoWriMo.

There’s something to be said about having thousands of people around the world writing their novels at the same time.

I think about my novel each day. In fact I spent Friday evening analyzing my novel according to Christopher Vogler‘s, “The Writer’s Journey:  Mythic Structure for Writers“.

It seems I am at the point of writing the stage of a novel or story that Vogler terms The Ordeal. This is when things get heated up.

Tension are hot at this point in my novel. While flames are not flying as yet, emotions have begun to simmer to a point close to boiling.

I always have difficulty in situations where emotions spill over.

That I am a psychotherapist makes this makes this aspect of my personality quite interesting.

While I don’t mind a client telling me in session that she or he is feeling suicidal, that they even have a plan.

The session provides containment. It is a safe place. Whom better than your psychotherapist, psychiatrist, social worker,  or psychologist to reveal you ideations or desires to commit suicide.

It’s quite a different story when encountering a person outside of your office who may be wielding a knife or a gun or holding a bottle of pills they’re threatening to swallow.

Or what if they have already taken the entire bottle of Tylenol?

Characters in our  novels can behave at various points like people who are suicidal.

While our characters may not wish or want to end their lives, their desires and actions may threaten to kill the storyline we have framed in our heads.

As writers we will never know what the actions and desires of our characters portend for our stories unless and until we write.

Fortunately I wrote some on my novel last week. It was late, in the middle of the night.

Words for opening of the next scene came to me as I lay in bed.

Fearful that i might lose them, I turned on the lamp beside my bed and wrote them by hand.

At times like these and when in this part of the journey, the writing itself becomes an ordeal. We must travel slowly.

How do you approach the most challenging parts to write of a story or novel?

How do you find direction when lost in what to write?

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~ by Anjuelle Floyd on December 20, 2009.

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