The 40K Word Slump

I can hardly believe it’s been three months since I properly updated my blog – time is moving like lightning!

First, some housekeeping: the blog is going through some changes. It’s turning into more than a blog. As you may have noticed, the layout has changed, morphed into a homepage as well as as blog. Other new features include a page about my books, and a contact form as well. I’d love to hear from you! There’s more to come – stay tuned for a brand new look, and also the option to subscribe to my newsletter.


It’s been a busy summer for me, and now that it’s all of a sudden autumn, I’m still working on the different, rather secretive project I mentioned in my last post. I’m a bit past 45K words right now, and I have a lot of story left to go. I think this may end up being a trilogy, actually, and I am quite excited about it because I have never written a trilogy before, and it provides new challenges with pacing and character arcs. I will post an excerpt soon, but for now I am not quite ready to share too many details.I will soon, I promise!

Here's a clue, more to come soon.

Here’s a clue though…

That stretch from 40K words to 45K was not fun, and took me a pathetically long length of time to write, considering it was only five thousand words. I hit a roadblock where I just started to feel like the story was no good, that I was no good, and that this whole writing thing was a waste of time. Then I read a great post on Writer Unboxed and discovered I am certainly not the only writer who struggles mid-book. Apparently the 40K realm of low writing self-esteem might be real thing. I think every writer struggles with certain parts of the manuscript – I certainly have in the past – but I never paid much attention to whereabouts in the story it was. I’ll be keeping track now, just out of curiosity. Anyone else experience this, and if so, at what word count?

In case any other writers experience this, here’s what got me through it:

  • Coffee
  • Reading through my completed manuscripts and reminding myself that if I’ve finished one before, I should be able to do it again
  • Wine
  • Looking at motivational cat pictures
  • Congratulating myself on writing 300 words
  • Making more notes about my characters
  • Coffee
  • Watching Justified
  • Deleting those 300 words and congratulating myself for not weeping while doing it
  • Sewing – voluntarily! (God, I was a mess)
  • Reading scary books, so I would be too nervous to sleep and therefore stayed up late writing
  • Seeing on Facebook that Sharon Kay Penman was also struggling with a battle scene, and feeling relieved that it happens to everyone. Then feeling hopelessly inadequate because she is the queen of historical fiction.
  • Opening up a fresh document and letting my characters do whatever they wanted (for the record, this might have been the most successful to break the slump).
  • Coffee

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  1. Pingback: Return of the 40K Word Slump - Meghan Masterson - AuthorMeghan Masterson – Author

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