Tips and tricks to get your writing restarted after it's ground to a halt
“A writer,” as Thomas Mann once famously said, “is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” And if you’ve ever found yourself putting more energy into avoiding your work-in-progress than actually just writing the damn thing (guilty), you’ll know how accurate he was.
The good news is, there are ways to get around the obstacles that get in the way of your writing journey. The bad news is that you might actually end up busting through all the excuses and having no option but to get writing again. Read on at your peril…
Make 2023 your best writing year yet by avoiding these obstacles
I don’t really hold with New Year’s resolutions. I reckon they’re a bit like waiting for the Ideal Time To Write™ – i.e. a useful tool for futurising, but not for actually Doing The Thing. But new years are about new beginnings, and if you’ve been struggling to move forward with your work in progress, or wanting to start a new project but never quite settling on a way in, there’s something very satisfyingly decisive about the end of one year and the start of another for getting your game face on. So, instead of making a New Year’s Resolution to vaguely “write more,” how about using the blank slate of 2023 to take a look at what might have been holding you back.
Most of these pitfalls happen to most writers at least some of the time, but, as I said in the last post, we’re often quite good at rationalising them away in favour of some other reason why we absolutely, positively, cannot in any way be to blame for the fact that we’re not meeting our writing goals. Hey, we’re creatives. Telling stories is what we do. Doesn’t help get the novel written, though, so if more focused work on your writing is the target, it may help to check in and see if any of the following apply to you.
Read on for the three Ds of writerly procrastination…
Encountering writing resistance as you approach the end of your novel – and what to do about it
Well, NaNoWriMo is over for another year. If you’ve been taking part this time around, and even if you haven’t, you might find yourself in the very healthy position now of having an absolute boatload of words written for your novel, and maybe you’re even closing in on the climax.
And now all of a sudden you’re having doubts.
Okay, let’s just dive in. I’m assuming you’re here because you are (a) a parent and (b) trying hard to carve out space for writing in your life. Maybe you have other caring commitments too. You may very well have a job that eats up more than its fair share of your week, and you might have a spouse who expects to at least see your face from time to time. Plus, you need to eat and sleep (although that last one, if your kids are like mine… maybe not so much).
It can feel overwhelming. It is overwhelming. I know it is: I’m living it with you. But if you’re here, I’m guessing it’s because without having space to write, even just a little, your life feels… flat. Not empty — of course — but missing something. Like there’s a spark that you just can’t seem to light. And yet, with eight million conflicting demands and only twenty-four hours in each day, how do you justify prioritising something as de-prioritisable as making fiction?
Tips, tricks & advice to help your writing shine
Blog updates on the first of every month.