Heyo everybody! It’s Meditative Monday!
Today I’m glad to say that I’m finally over the 150,000 word mark in my new WIP, unfortunately though I’m still nowhere near finished with it yet, but I’m chipping through and making good progress everyday.
Now if you’re concerned about the Everything I’d Do Differently stuff, don’t worry, it’s coming. But there are more parts than I expected so I decided to give you guys a break by not posting them every week.
More importantly, I wanted to talk about the rougher days because let’s face it, we’re all gonna have them. But we don’t have to be absolutely miserable through it all.
So here’s some stuff that might help if you’re stuck in a bind.
1.) Focus On The Scene In Front Of You, Not The Future Ones You Feel You Need To Get To
The problem with thinking about future scenes while you’re not writing them is exactly that: you’re not writing that future scene.
And even worse, you can get caught up in always doing the mental measuring of how far away you are from that particular scene. This can lead to a) not enjoying the scene in front of you, and b) skim writing to just get to the good part. The latter being worse because if you’re not taking the time to write good scenes then is a reader going to take the time to read it?
When I’m having a really rough time, I narrow my focus solely on what I’m writing with a Scene Scan. And in the scan I often have a place where I write down what’s going to happen in the present scene.
Unless my inner panster goes absolutely coconuts, I stay within the boundaries of my notes, and that makes it easy for me to cruise through most of whatever I’m writing. But for the most part, having what you’re gonna write, blocked out in some form does help prevent stopping and starting all the time.
2. Keep Calm And Patience, Patience, Patience…
Always remember: writing is a long-term game with a lot of ups and downs. It requires a lot of patience and that patience needs to be exercised religiously.
The only thing that criticizing yourself or getting frustrated will do is make your rough patch feel much longer and make it much harder to be creative.
What you’re going through is not permanent. It might feel like it, but that is a trick of the mind. Step away from the computer for a moment if you have to.
And since we’re on the topic of taking breaks…
3.) Take Recharge Breaks As Often As You Need Them!
For me, I’m always tuning into how my body is feeling while I write so I can gauge when I’m slacking easily.
For just a simple brain recharge, I usually just meditate in a chair and 15-20 minutes away usually gives me juice to get back into writing.
But the challenge in this though… is to get back to writing from the break and also to not abuse the break system.
Our brain does need to have time to cool off, but sometimes we get more distracted than we need!
4.) Change The Style Of Your Writing Goals
I recently changed from telling myself to write x amount of words to stop all writing at 7 pm.
The major reasons for this was to prevent burning out and so that I could spend the last 5 hours of my day drawing. Also, 7pm tends to be when my family start filling up the house so usually after that time, it gets harder to write.
But the good part about it was that instead of lamenting at my word count goals, I feel more like I’m racing against the clock. I can do whatever I want in the day, but because I have that limit, if I get a lot of work done, it’s great. But if I don’t get a lot of work done, it’s because I’m fooling around. I can start writing at whatever time I want. 3 am? Sure. 3pm. Sure, as long as I’m willing to accept the consequences.
It can be hard to find the right type of writing goals that work for you. But it might be worth the effort of changing things up if you find yourself getting discouraged often.
5.) Rough Patches Are Only Rough Because There’s Something You’re Not Aware Of
Lack of knowledge and awareness one of the top reasons we get stuck in our novels. We don’t get stuck when we know what we’re doing.
Sometimes we plan scenes, but rarely factor in what kind of change our characters will have up at that point. So when we try to write it, the scene doesn’t feel “write”. (Ba-dum tsss!)
Sometimes we don’t know how our characters can solve a current problem, but we’re not looking deep enough at everything around our characters. Our tendency is usually to add something new to solve the problem, but really it will strengthen your story if you can use what’s already there.
When you’re stuck, try taking a deeper look at what’s there first before adding something else. You might be surprised with what you find!
Photo credits to skeeze on pixabay!