One Bite at a Time

Wow! Long time, no post. I’ve been struggling with my latest WIP, currently called Reservoir, for months now. Lack of progress has been compounded by awful weather, crises in confidence, and changes in work schedules. It’s also densely plotted, and that’s new for me. I’m a pantser (writing by the seat of my pants) so to suddenly become a plotter is a switch. Also there’s a lot of research going into this one (Level 4 viruses, chemical reactions, explosions, survival techniques–interested yet?).

I don't generally recommend using a spork for elephant eating, but you use what you have!
I don’t generally recommend using a spork for elephant eating, but you use what you have, right?

Last night I thought, “I’ve had it. I’m done.” I met fellow author Kelly Tinkham for coffee today and turns out we both had the I’m-quitting-blues last night. What helped us through–other than the sunshine this morning!–was this post by Dianne K. Salerni, author of The Caged Graves (if you haven’t read Verity’s story yet, check it out). Dianne compares writing daunting scenes to eating an elephant.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

So we keep going…one paragraph, one chapter, one bite at a time.

How about you? How’s your work in progress (and I don’t mean just writing…I mean anything you’re struggling with)?

P.S. Thanks Dianne for some much-needed encouragement!

18 thoughts on “One Bite at a Time

  1. mary wooten says:

    It has been a while…………good to know you are still plugging along, “one bite at a time”. The cold is beyond paralyzing – hope that your brain and body is functioning way better than mine. Good to hear from you/would love to see you, but think that will probably be in a couple of months?!!

    xoxoxo, Mary


    1. Tess Grant says:

      I’ve been feeling pretty low-functioning lately…guess I should blame the cold! I count it as a good day when our road/driveway is passable, so yes, it may be a while before I see you.

      hugs! T.

  2. Gwen says:

    Glad to hear you are back in the groove! One of my favorite mottos is “Just keep swimming!” – Dorie, Finding Nemo
    Smile 🙂

  3. Kris says:

    Yep, it’s that mid-winter, thoughts of hibernation time, compounded by the frigid, snowy weather of late. At work, we all decided this morning to take the rest of the winter off and the boss was even on-board!! Alas…………..reality sets in. Hang tough. It’s almost February.

    BTW, the book sounds great. You know I’m into viruses, etc.!!

  4. Eileen says:

    Oh heck you Michiganders are such wimps!!! Come to Fargo for some real cold. You do have more snow than us though so I guess it’s a trade-off. Glad to hear you are alive and kicking. Can’t wait for the new book.

      1. Eileen says:

        He has had 2 snow days but they have make up days built into their calendar year so as long as they don’t have anymore, he will be done the first week of June.

  5. Joselyn says:

    The snow days are killing my routine–if I ever had one. This morning was the first time I have more than 30 minutes of daylight without having to listen to a very awful rendition of “I’m a Barbie girl…” All I wanted to do was nap.

    Keep writing! I can’t wait to read more of this story.

    1. Tess Grant says:

      Amen, sister! We’ve had more snow days than in school, I think. 🙂

      Don’t worry about the nap. You had Post Barbie Girl Stress Syndrome.

      P.S. I have you down for beta reader whether you like it or not!

  6. J.Q Rose says:

    Hey, sounds like you pulled up your big girl panties and are ready to face that WIP head on. Good for you. Glad you and Kelly stirred each other up. Yes, I have had such struggles with my third mystery I feel like it is like bread dough that just keeps rising and growing and has no shape. I even bought a book by K.M Weiland on outlining to help me reign it in. Remember spring and summer will come and we’ll all be complaining of the heat and humidity before you know it! Hang in there. I love what I’ve read of Reservoir…It has the Tess Grant touch. Best wishes!

  7. W.S. Gager says:

    So honored to be a beta reader. So if I’m understanding the analogy right if I get stuck and I am now, I just get to eat, like chocolate, lots of chocolate?
    Miss seeing you and send even small bits at a time!

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