When I started on this "writing a novel" journey several years ago, I never dreamed it would take me this long. To be fair to myself, at the time I was working full time, very involved with a couple of nonprofits, and doing some side work as a grant writer. So I didn't focus on the WIP so much.
Last year, I finally retired from full-time work and decided to spend my "spare time" working on my novel. Well, I wrote a little over 33,000 words before I was stuck in the mud with no idea how to move forward. After going through my story, I realized I had forgotten a few things. I had the beginning and the end, but no middle! I had not fleshed out my plot lines, so they were disjointed and made no sense. The issue was, nothing was coming. What could I do to fix this?
When I get stuck and I realize I just don't know what to do, I start to research. I am beginning to understand just how much work goes into writing a novel. It's not just about sitting down to write -- although thats a really important part -- but writing all the supporting information before you get down to the story. As I outline all the work I still need to do, in no particular order, I am in awe that anyone actually finishes a novel!