View in browser
Website    Facebook    Goodreads
Life in the Slog

I don’t know how it is with other writers, but with me there’s a pattern to these things. You start a book, any book, and things are really exciting. You’re creating a new story, getting to know new characters, getting a feel for a new section of your world, and it can be exhilarating. It can give you that nervous pit in your stomach that you get when you’re facing something new, a kind of excited dread. And this feeling will carry you into the novel. You look forward to going downstairs to the basement to hammer away a new installation, a new chapter, a new idea. For most books, this’ll carry you until about page 70 or 80. But when you reach that point, you enter what I call the slog. Now the story isn’t new and exciting anymore. Now the story is work. You wake up to a different kind of dread. An “I have to do it all again” kind of dread. You feel procrastination calling, and your story doesn’t feel original anymore, no matter how much it is. You’ve reached the middle part. All the adrenaline is gone, and every day becomes a drudgery. It effects your relationships. You’re not as excited to see people anymore. Your conversations lose the verve they had. And you just walk through a doldrum.

I’ve never had trouble finishing books here. My work ethic is such that I keep chopping, keep hammering away, no matter how much interest I’ve lost. Next comes a surge. This happens when you’re about 60 pages from the end. You can see where it’s all going. Usually you can see the end of the book really well. Exciting things are shaping up and you’re getting to see all the threads you’ve been hammering out slowly coming together. You can see which parts of the story are going to continue into other books, and you can see the climax. This is usually where I speed up. Things start going really fast. I’m talking about the book constantly, and my writing days get longer. I’m getting more done. It’s exciting, to say the least, this last little burst to the finish line. And when it’s over, you have another piece of your puzzle put together. It’s like building a housing development. You just finished a new house. It might be awhile before a reader moves in, but as you look down the streets of your housing development, you can see the houses coming together, and it’s all exciting.

That’s the pattern for each book. But as I continue into the Second Act, I’m starting to see this familiar pattern emerging again. The First Act, the first 28 books, was like the first 70 or 80 pages of a novel. It was all exciting. Every story, I was dying to tell. I moved through those books in seven years of pure excitement, wondering what was around the corner of each new sentence. But now I’m in the Second Act, and I can feel myself wading through the slog. No matter how exciting the book is, how groundbreaking the layout, and how unlike any other writing I have ever heard of this series of books is, I don’t find myself running downstairs. I don’t feel the exhilaration of each new book. I’m in the slog of the work. And just like it always has, it’s bleeding over into my life.

So every morning I wake up, sit on the edge of my bed, and think, “I have to do it all over again.” Every time I make dinner, every conversation I have with people, “I have to do it all over again.” How many showers am I gonna have to take? How many times am I gonna have to feed the dogs? Do the dishes? Wash the laundry? And write a book, before the excitement will enter my life again? The Second Act is daunting. No matter how many thousands of pages I’ve written, it just feels like I’m not getting anywhere. My kids have taken to staying up with me at night on my days off, because otherwise, I wouldn’t take any days off. Because I just want to get through the slog. I just want to work and write so that I can feel excitement again. Tonight my sons are gonna watch over me in shifts to make sure I don’t write. Then the next night, I move into the final 26 chapters before this book is finished. But I know, when it is done, I won’t feel the kind of excitement I did at the end of each book of the First Act.

I just have to get through so that the work is exciting again, and I wake up looking forward to the day.

Fate of Madness

The cover for Fate of Madness, the final installment in The Madness Wars series, is complete. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that all the book covers fit together to create a panoramic. The final piece of that panoramic is about to be unveiled. 

So watch for it soon on the Fantasy-Faction website, and you’ll get to see the complete picture that will carry you through the series.

The Silent War of the Sour Eye

Download this free ebook available exclusively through my newsletter. This short story collection includes "The Banshee," "The Slave," "The Gilded Mares," and "Son of the Demontser."



Featured Author

Check out these fantasy books by ML Spencer!

Jesse Teller


October | November | December

Share to Facebook Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Twitter Forward email Forward email

Jesse Teller, 2443 S. Ventura Ave., Springfield, MO  65804 USA

Tired of hearing from me?