Let’s face it, sometimes writing can be hard. We might do everything right; make sure we’ve done our research, create a realistic but motivating timetable, read everything we can get our hands on and do lots of writing exercises to keep those creative cogs turning. But sometimes, no matter what we do, it just seems like we are struggling up a never-ending hill - the words won’t come out the way we want them to, we get stuck at certain points in our story and can’t figure out where to go next, or our writing just seems flat, unoriginal and disinteresting.
All writers go through these tough patches where things don’t go the way we want them to. But wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to make everything just flow? To reduce these instances or know exactly what to do to shake ourselves out of them when they occur?
Well, while there might be no miracle answer, there are certainly some things we can try to help make our writing lives easier
Never give up on your routine
You made that writing timetable for a reason, so make sure you stick to it! We know how horrible it can be to force yourself to write when you are not in the mood, but the more you stick to your writing routine, the easier it will be.
I haven't quite established a routine, unless writing whenever I find the time counts. I don't try to set a certain time of day as the time to write. I feel satisfied as long as I get some done. Some days I don't get around to it, depending how I am feeling or how busy I get as I dis yesterday. But I know I will get it done, no matter when I do it.
Give yourself regular breaks
Writing is a job and it’s hard work. Just like any other job you need regular breaks where you get up, move away from your desk and do something else. If you don’t it is easy to lose focus, get distracted or start to feel tired. Giving yourself a break may feel as though you are wasting your time, but you’ll actually be doing yourself and your writing a huge favour.
I already know to do this 🙂 I may often still be on my computer when I'm not writing my story, but I'ms till taking a break from the story.
Stop when you’ve still got more to say
Always end a writing session on a high. Don’t write until you are completely out of steam. If you end when you’ve still got more to say just write down a few brief notes of what you want to happen next, and then when you come back to your writing you’ll be able to easily pick up where you left off.
I've never thought of this one. I do find myself coming up with ways to extend or change something I've already written. Many times this will be after I've stopped writing for the day. I may even come up with these ideas when I'm in bed 🙂
Start by free writing
If you are feeling stuck why not dust off the cobwebs by free writing for 10 minutes before you continue to work on your writing project? This way you can loosen your mind and get rid of all the random cluttered thoughts before you begin.
OK, I know about this, but just don't do enough of it. And it's one of the best ways to get into writing mode.
Plan as much as you can
Being organized is half the battle for any writer. If you make a plan and do your research thoroughly you are so much more likely to feel confident that your story will work and less likely to get stuck halfway through.
I've not been too good at planning this way. But I've been making my story work the best I can.
Use creative writing tools
There is a wealth of creative writing apps and programs available to writers nowadays and making the most of them can really help keep us motivated, easily pick up where we left off, note places we need to come back to or do more research on, and generally improve our writing overall.
I've not gotten into using a lot of apps, but do have ideas on for writing should I get stuck.
Don’t write when you are tired, preoccupied or likely to be distracted
Be sensible and realistic about when you choose to write. If you know you’ll have kids and partners barging in on you every five minutes demanding your attention or you can barely keep your eyes open, try moving your writing sessions to a time where you can have some peace and quiet!
I definitely know not to do this. Kids and partners are not an issue for me personally, but keeping my eyes open is an issue for anyone. Sometimes I think better at night, but not enough to try writing so late at night.
If you try to follow the above as much as possible you’ll soon find that the instances where writing feels sluggish and difficult happen less frequently. You might still have moments where you feel like this - all writers do, but you’ll be equipped with the tools and knowledge to start back up again and not let this hold you back for too long!
All this sounds like good advice. What are some ideas you have?