So, the other day, Alyssa (my 7 year old daughter) and I visited the climbing park close to where I live. I was so excited because this was something that I'd always wanted to try out, but never gathered enough courage. Me and heights don't see eye to eye. That and my
Anyway, Alyssa and I got all belted up and readied to begin this adventure - to me it was an adventure.
I climbed up the ladder behind Alyssa, my heart thumping in my chest with every step my feet took. Up ahead of me, Aly gave me a wide upper-front-teeth-missing- grin, then turned around, her tiny feet climbing confidently and fast.
Once we stepped on the first landing, my eyes darted everywhere but below. Then this tall, good-looking late-twentyish instructor/climber who was leading the way turned and flashed us a smile, his green eyes twinkling in pure joy. I could tell he adored his job. He held out his hand to Aly. (Secretly, I think they employ those good-looking ones with easy smiles to put people like me at ease) My daughter brushed his hand aside and stretched her hand towards the ropes, grabbing them (show off:D) My daughter is a Scorpio. confidence and determination are part and parcel of their make up gene. So the guy just smiled and led the way. As I stepped on the first wooden step, which was wobbling like the world was coming to an end, I wished the guy would have offered me his hand.
I clenched my jaw, took a deep breath and braved on.
Then I got stuck in the middle. My feet trembled, my hands grabbing the ropes for dear life shook like nonsense. I counted the several dancing wooden steps I had to take to the next landing, glanced down at the distance between where I stood quivering and the lush ground below, then over my shoulder at the impatient faces frowning at me. Aly and the good looking guy were already waiting for me on the next landing.
At that moment, sweating and biting my tongue, that particular image reminded me of what happens sometimes in the process of writing.
After I outline my story - it's actually more doodling than outlining because I always find myself drifting from the outline - it has a beginning, middle and end. When I begin to write a stroy, the begining is so clear. My fingers fly over my keyboard in excitement. Then comes the middle. For some reason the middle seems different than I had imagined, or thought. But when I look far ahead, the ending of the story is so clear. I know what will happen to the story/character. At times I feel like shoving that story aside to work on later..or never. Then I think about how I love the story, my motivaiton towards writing it....
So what do I do to get my middle groove back? I go back to reread my beginning and my ending as per my forever shifting outline, listen to the song or visit the place that inspired that story. On other occasions, I share this with my friends who are also writers. If there is a person who will ever understand the frustration, is a fellow writer. My cheerleaders.
Eventually I find my middle.
So in this case, I focused my attention on Aly...of course and the guy (I'm not sure why I didn't ask his name. I'll blame it on the initial excitement.) They cheered me on (although the grumblings behind me were getting louder with ever passing second) I rechecked my motivaiton. Why I decided to try climbing the ropes and ladders. Because I wanted to beat that part of me that is scared of heights. Know that I can make it, and for fun of course.
Eventually, I moved my feet, and made it. Didn't let go.
Much much later on when I swung my quivering feet from the ladder and touched the ground, I was happy I'd tried. And made it the whole way. Just like when I complete my first draft, I'm always so happy I ploughed on, didn't let the middle crumble the whole story.
What about you? What do you do to get your middle grove back?