For those of us who live in the United States, an election cycle lies right around the bend, and soon we'll doubtlessly find ourselves mired in technical political jargon. Talking heads love to banter about centrism, open primaries, matching funds and which candidates have momentum. I find that last term somewhat fascinating, because as a metaphor it stands up pretty well. Some would-be leaders simply seem to fire on all cylinders during a campaign, speeding from success to success, not allowing any bumps in the road to slow them down. Meanwhile, others struggle to even reach the speed limit, strike a pot hole and promptly blow out a tire. They don't get anywhere.
Am I the only who thinks this could equally apply to writing?
Most of us have experienced those times when a story unspools with the ease of a Ferrari accelerating on a straight stretch of highway. Every new piece of description, character detail or plot point flows into the next with increasing rapidity until -- what do you know? -- we've finished. And if you've written for any length of time, I bet you've gone through the opposite, those periods when you can't get out of compositional first gear, when your pen moves at a Pinto's pace and nothing you do seems to make it move faster.
I know all about being mired. I'm there right now, stuck in a submission that's due in a little over a week and unsure whether or not I'll make the deadline. Here's what I want to know, dear readers: How do you regain momentum after losing it?
(Picture: CC 2009 by Viernest)