There’s a point in every story, usually about 1/3 - 1/2 of the way through, where, if it’s going to start going downhill in a way that’s tough to recover, that trajectory is going to start showing itself right around that marker. If it’s a story I’m attached to (and most of them are, or why I bother with them?), that’s a devastating, almost debilitating feeling. Once in a while I can use brute force to push the story to around the 2/3 - 3/4 mark just to be sure, but often if it started to go bad earlier, it doesn’t get any better. And so I end up with a tall stack of stories all stalled in about the same place. I’ll make myself open those files, still, and try to work with them again, but I’ll get overwhelmed with a strong sleepiness almost immediately that makes it hard to think. Everything feels like I’m looking at it through Vaseline. If I close that file and work on something that hasn’t stalled yet, everything clears. At least until I hit the 1/3 - 1/2 mark on that one, and then we start that cycle again.
Writers are weird.