Daily Thought #30

So, you know that moment when you’re writing and you suddenly realize everything is wrong. The character suck. The plot is in shambles. You’ve gone off on a tantrum of the vitality of turtles in China. The words on the page are not coming out the way you see it in your head. Everything is wrong. I know that feeling, and I think most writers have as well.

I have several tips to solve this problem. Let me first give a disclaimer, though, that I do not mean this will necessarily work for you. Writing is a complex process, as are our brains. Certain things work for some writers that are useless to others. But here are some options that have helped me in the past.

First, distance yourself from the story. I find we authors sometimes get so caught up in one character or in one scene that we lose that first spark of inspiration we first had. Go back to that. Ruminate about what you first wanted to achieve. Stop writing for a little bit, but keep the story in your mind. Try to get back to when you first had that inspiration.

Second, let someone else look at your manuscript, or just talk to them about it. Make sure it’s someone you trust completely and whose response will both encourage you to continue and help you wheedle out the kinks in your story. For me, this is usually my mother or sister. For you, it could be a friend, teacher, significant other, etc. Someone, in a sense, to ping ideas off of.

Third, step away from your work and do something that clears your head. Often, I find my stories are going wrong because I am stressed out or tired. Things that clear my head include: going for a walk outside, doing some exercise, or going somewhere I enjoy that also inspires me (like the library or a park). These might not work for you, but try different things. Do something that gets you inspired, like painting, learning about something new, or even listening to interesting music.

Do you have anything you do that helps when you are frustrated with writing? If so, I’d love to hear about it. And if the suggestions I mentioned above help you, let me know!

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