In my difficulty, I have found a lot of ways to get around the petty details of writer’s block and impatience. Details like frustration even while writing, guilt, aimlessness, and insecurity. And of course, outright inability to continue.
There’s no particularly order to these tips, they’re just things I’ve been doing.
1. Set a goal.
- This is not a deadline. It’s just something to achieve. 200 words in a session, introducing a certain character, or even something bigger that you’re working toward, such as self-publication.
2. Even if you aren’t interested in a Smashwords ebook, put that kind of front matter into your story document.
- It might only help with a new story, but having text relevant to what you’re writing already in your document keeps it from feeling less empty, and it also makes it harder to fuss over wordcount.
3. Turn procrastination into planning, not the other way around.
- If you tend to start making notes and can’t help derailing your writing time entirely to plan ahead with scenes you may never get to, then try doing it on purpose. If you start to wane in writing, outline the rest of the scene or chapter you’re working on. It will give you a sense of direction.
- Just keep it relevant. While it can be good to make a note of a future plot twist, planning it out in great detail for chapter 20 while you’re stuck on chapter 4 may later feel like procrastination. Which leads me to my next point…
4. Don’t feel guilty.
- To me, this is the most important. Maybe nobody is counting on you to finish, or maybe you are, and that’s all that matters. Feeling guilty just locks you up and keeps you from writing anything at all. Whatever is causing it, take time away from it. If not writing is making you feel guilty, then write. Even if you throw it away. If you feel guilty even when you write, then try writing something else. But don’t wallow.
5. Change your work space.
- If you can’t relocate entirely, then try just changing how cluttered or tidy it is. What smells are around. A really good thing to try is a different manner of writing–a different word processor, or a change from keyboard to pen, or vice versa. A change-up can rattle things loose, especially if you like to use lots of different methods in any case, and just got wrapped up in one.
These have been working for me, although it’s still not epic. I just thought I’d like to share them.